Russell Brand wishes he'd helped Amy Winehouse with drug addiction
Russell Brand is seen on stage during a tribute for Amy Winehouse at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. (AP / Matt Sayles)
Published Sunday, August 12, 2012 10:56AM EDT
Russell Brand wishes he had helped Amy Winehouse come off drugs.
The comedian - who has been sober for over 10 years after battling heroin addiction - has revealed he still feels guilty about not helping the late soul singer get clean when he first realized she was struggling with addiction.
Brand told The Sun newspaper: "I got clean at the age of 27, the age Amy was when she died.
"Amy's death was a paradoxical unsurprising shock. I felt like I could have done something to help -- to give her the chance I had.
"When she died, it was this feeling of, 'Agh, I knew that was going to happen.' And I had this flickering sense that I should have done something about that.
"I feel a bit guilty that there was nothing I did.”
The 37-year-old funnyman recalled seeing the troubled star - who was found dead in her London home last July - on the party scene and being disturbed by her behaviour, prompting him to ask others to help her.
Brand explained: "I loved Amy on the basis that I thought she was really, really brilliant.
"I recognized that this person has got it, she has got this thing. She is not happy, she is on edge.
"She drank this glass of champagne and threw it over her shoulder once.
"I said, 'What are you doing that for?' She said. 'I was doing it to impress you.' I said, 'Well... don't', then she started flicking lit cigarettes around the room.
"That's when I got the sense of the ticking clock and spoke to other people, 'Hey, we need to do something'."
The 'Forgetting Sarah Marshall' actor hopes to raise awareness about the way society treats drug addicts in his new BBC3 documentary, 'Russell Brand: From Addiction To Recovery.'