Amy Winehouse denied that her singing of a slur-filled ditty made her a racist Monday, the same day it was learned that her husband — who videotaped the performance — pleaded guilty to assault and other charges that could cost him more jail time.
The video, taken by Blake Fielder-Civil sometime before his arrest late last year and published Sunday by the News of the World, shows Winehouse and another woman sitting on a couch, singing a string of racial epithets to the tune of the children’s song “Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes.”
Fielder-Civil, holding the camera, is heard encouraging them to sing it, insisting afterward he “wasn’t recording it ... I swear on my life.” The video goes on to show Winehouse passed out on the couch.
Winehouse later stood outside her north London home, telling paparazzi that she was sorry, adding: “I don’t want to play anything down, but I’m the least racist person going.”
Fielder-Civil, 26, was being tried in London on charges of attacking pub landlord James King, and then conspiring with King to have the landlord withdraw as a witness.
Fielder-Civil and three-co-defendants pleaded guilty last week, but a court order barred reporting the pleas because King is scheduled to face a separate trial. Judge David Radford lifted the reporting restriction Monday.
Winehouse has become an international star since she released the Grammy-winning album “Back to Black” in 2006. But her music has been overshadowed by reports of her drug use, run-ins with the law and tempestuous relationship with Fielder-Civil.
Winehouse’s spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday from The Associated Press.
Fielder-Civil faces a maximum of five years in prison for the assault charge. Perverting the course of justice — the equivalent of obstruction of justice in the U.S. — carries a maximum sentence of life, though that is unlikely to be imposed in this case.
The defendants are due to be sentenced later.