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Monday, 30 September, 2002, 10:35 GMT 11:35 UK
Barrymore's GMTV interview
The full text of Michael Barrymore's interview with GMTV's Fiona Phillips, in which the entertainer speaks about the death of Stuart Lubbock and the subsequent inquest.
Fiona Phillips: You told the inquest you couldn't swim, yet your wife Cheryl said your mother taught you to swim and your former bodyguard Stephen Gilby said he actually saw you doing front crawl for a width of a pool and back. Can you swim?
Michael Barrymore: I cannot swim. I cannot float. I don't know why Cheryl's doing this. We haven't spoken in five years since the divorce. It ended nastily unfortunately.
It's sad she's had to lie, and I don't know why she's lying. I know what the implication is: why didn't I jump in and get Stuart out?
Then there'd be two of us dead. Or is that what everybody wants? I'm not trying to make light of this, it's not funny.
The pool was there when I bought the house. I didn't think: 'Oh, I can't swim, I'll have a pool put in'.
I have tried several times to get round to learning to swim because I'd like the pleasure of it, but I haven't.
If I could have swum I would have jumped in and got him out.
But I doubt that would have saved his life. The implication is 'well, that's another minute'. I don't think so.
Simon Shaw and James Futters were beside me. They jumped straight in anyway. I would only have made the matters worse.
FP: Talking of making matters worse, why did you go to Mauritius after the inquest?
MB: That actual holiday was booked two years ago. For various reasons it was cancelled, then the tragedy happened and then the original inquest was going to be in August, so I thought I'll move the holiday so it's away from the inquest, to September.
Then it went on to September. A couple of friends said, 'Look, why don't you just get away? You're going to be made prisoner in your house'. So I said 'all right' and I went.
But I might as well have not have gone as I was stuck in the villa there. I might as well have stayed at home in Royden.
FP: Do you understand how the Lubbocks are feeling?
MB: Of course. How can I equate whatever I do with the devastation of losing Stuart? I wander around my garden, I haven't worked for a year and a half.
I haven't done anything. I went to America to drama school to keep myself from going off my head. I put myself back into rehab - I've got myself off all the stuff.
I'm an alcoholic, I'm an addict. I've been dry a year and a half now, so that's good.
I started with nothing, if I have to go back to nothing then so be it. Stuart must come first.
FP: Do you have flashbacks of what happened?
MB: I get flashbacks, I can just see him in places because he was a really up guy, a very happy guy".
You can call me a lousy entertainer, but you can't call me a killer. I don't care if you call me that. It doesn't matter.
It's anybody's choice and when my time's due, when I meet Stuart again, he knows. He knows nothing was done to him. Not at my house. And I know.
FP: Terry Lubbock said he was incensed by the fact that you refused to answer certain questions in court. So I'm going to put these questions to you now, as they were said in court, and if you refuse to answer them so be it, but I'm going to ask them anyway.
MB: I said right from the beginning to my solicitors that I would help the police honestly and truthfully any way I could with the inquiry into Stuart Lubbock's death.
At the inquest, the experts all stated that cocaine played no significant part in Stuart's death and therefore I exercised my right not to open myself or others possibly, to prosecution by answeing those questions in that way.
And I need to add as well, at no time did I give Stuart Lubbock cocaine. I did not rub any cocaine into Stuart's gums.
FP: Despite the fact that Cheryl said she has seen you doing that yourself?
MB: Cheryl said it?
FP: Yes. There were people in your house. Someone must have seen what happened to Stuart that night - someone must have seen him in the swimming pool, someone must have seen him in trouble. So why do we still not know what happened?
MB: There were eight people in the house. A couple of the girls said they were in the jacuzzi, and Stuart was in there, Stuart was diving in and out of the pool, doing that bomb diving thing.
So the others say that they got out of the jacuzzi because the air outside was cold.
They came back in the house, there was a 10 minute gap when he's on his own, and then I go out, look down and see him. Obviously his dad, his mum, everybody is devastated and wants answers. But I want the answers too.
I can't be any more sorry about what happened. I don't know how Stuart got into the pool, but I am not responsible for Stuart getting into the pool and I'm not responsible for his death.
A party built up. I didn't invite a whole crowd back, it was just a sequence of events and I openly opened the house quite willingly to strangers .
FP: We've heard, too, that he sustained the most appalling injuries, and it's hard to reconcile the fact that he had these appalling injuries and no-one saw anything.
MB: The way that it's ben written is that it was a House Of Horror, all the gay innuendo, that he was attacked, horrific injuries.
In the last few days my solicitors managed to locate a key witness that was not at the inquest, and whose statement was only read out, and was not there to be cross-examined.
That was one of the nurses who worked on Stuart for two hours to try and revive him at the A&E, at the Harlow Hospital.
And he quite clearly states without a shadow of a doubt that when Stuart Lubbock arrived at the A&E department from the house and they moved him on to the table to work on him there were absolutely no injuries whatsoever to his body. Absolutely none.
He did not receive any injuries at my house. At all. They did not happen at my house, and it is not for me to speculate.
FP:What will you do with that new evidence?
MB: I think so that the Lubbocks can deal with this and get it sorted out properly they should have the choice of doing what they feel is right. God knows what it's like for the Lubbock family, and I'm sorry, I couldn't be more sorry and I'm devastated .
FP: Have you met with the Lubbocks since that night?
MB: For legal reasons, it was thought best not to make any contact.
FP: Would you meet them now?
MB: I would be delighted to meet the Lubbocks at any time so we can sit down and talk about it.
They have to get their lives back together. This has become about me and not about Stuart.
I know I can live with myself. What other people are saying about me, that I find difficult, but I can deal with it .
FP: What about your career? The BBC say they don't think an audience would take to you any more, ITV say they have no plans to commission anything with you any more. We did a poll at GMTV and 75% of respondents said they don't want to see you on television again. Terry Lubbock said he didn't want to see you on TV again and so did Mrs Lubbock.
MB: Well, from the way everything's been reported, I can't blame everybody for saying they don't want to see me on TV.
But now when the truth comes out, I'll have to be judged on what I did in the past, and if people don't want me back on TV, then so be it. I'll have to go and do something won't I?
I didn't realise that just because you make mistakes in life I didn't do anything and if the price is that I've got to lose everything I'll have to get over it won't I? I'll survive. I'll do something.
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