Barrymore speaks out on pool death

MICHAEL Barrymore today denied playing any part in the death of a partygoer found in a swimming pool at his home.

The former Strike It Lucky and My Kind Of Music host insisted he was not a "killer" and defended himself against drug-taking and perjury accusations.

Barrymore, 50, in his first interview since a coroner recorded an open verdict on the death of Stuart Lubbock, said he was "sad and sorry" about what happened and offered to meet Mr Lubbock’s family.

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Barrymore has been criticised for failing to answer questions at the inquest and for leaving his house as paramedics battled to save Mr Lubbock following the incident in March last year.

He has been urged to respond fully to the allegations, in particular that he rubbed cocaine into the meat factory supervisor’s gums and his assertion that he cannot swim.

Mr Lubbock, from Harlow, Essex, was found to be the equivalent of about three times over the legal drink-drive limit and had cocaine and Ecstasy in his system after his death.

Barrymore said: "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 answering those questions in that way," he said.

"And I need to add as well that at no time did I give Stuart Lubbock cocaine."

Responding to claims that he can swim, he said: " I cannot swim. I can’t float. I don’t know why Cheryl’s doing this. We haven’t spoken in five years since the divorce."