Michael Barrymore: Stuart Lubbock's father knows I am innocent but uses me for publicity

Albertina Lloyd
Entertainment reporter, Yahoo UK

Michael Barrymore has claimed that Stuart Lubbock’s father knows he is innocent but uses his name to get publicity.

Lubbock was found dead aged 31 at the comedian and TV presenter’s Essex home after a party in March 2001. Barrymore and two other men were arrested six years later but released without charge.

Lubbock’s father Terry, 74, has continued to campaign for justice regarding his son’s death.

Barrymore, 67, told Good Morning Britain: "The first time I met him I said, 'You know I don’t have anything to do with this.' He said, 'I know'. So I said, 'Why are you pointing the finger at me?'

"And everyone else is joining in. A nudge and innuendo.

Read more: Barrymore pool death 999 call heard in documentary

Michael Barrymore has said his continued implication in the death of Stuart Lubbock has got to stop. (Getty Images)

"It doesn’t matter how bad it is for me, it won’t be as bad as Mr Lubbock and his family.

"To keep it as the same scenario and repeat it every five years when I turn up on TV – it needs to stop.

“He knows I have nothing to do with it. He says, 'How else will I get publicity?'"

A new documentary about the incident, Barrymore: The Body In The Pool, aired on Channel 4 last month.

The TV presenter pulled out of Dancing On Ice at the end of last year after breaking his wrist while rehearsing for the celebrity talent show.

Stuart Lubbock was found dead at Michael Barrymore's house in 2001. (PA)

He said he had the X-rays of his injury and insisted he had not pulled out for any other reason.

Speaking about the publicity surrounding Lubbock’s death, Barrymore said: "How many times am I supposed to be kicked?

“I’m not looking for sympathy. I’ve been through it, I’m a big boy. And I’m going to hold my head up high because it’s my right.”

Lubbock had sustained injuries that experts believe were the result of a serious sexual assault. Essex police have admitted that “crime scene mistakes” were made at the time, and the police investigation is still ongoing.

Of the other guests at his house that night, Barrymore said: "I've never seen them since that date. Not one of them. I’ve not got their number. I've never spoken to them.

Terry Lubbock has campaigned for justice over the death of his son Stuart. (PA)

"The wall of silence is because they genuinely don’t know. Yes, I do believe them. I can’t see how… because of going against Essex Police for wrongful arrest I was able to see every witness statement. I only quoted from facts and that’s what my view is.

"That comes before me or anybody. It doesn’t matter how bad I feel. I can’t live my life and get on with my life."

Read more: Police appeal for new information regarding Michael Barrymore pool death

The incident was explored in the Channel 4 documentary, which included the 999 call made to emergency services on the night.

Hours before the documentary aired, Barrymore issued a statement on Twitter protesting his innocence.

Barrymore, his ex-lover Jonathan Kenney and dustman Justin Merritt were arrested in 2007 on suspicion of murder and serious sexual assault but released without charge. Barrymore later sued Essex police for wrongful arrest. Police say the three have not been "completely eliminated" from inquiries.

Five others were also at the party that night – Merritt’s younger sister Kylie, chef James Futers, and locals Simon Shaw, Claire Jones, then 17, and Kelly Campbell.

Det Chief Insp Stephen Jennings told a press conference last month: “One or more of the eight people at this party are responsible for Stuart’s death.”