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She slurred her way through the songs and staggered around the stage.The audience booed and jeered, but instead of walking off, Amy responded, saying: ‘If you’re booing, you’re a mug for buying a ticket.’I resolved that 2008 would be the year we helped Amy get clean. Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive of Universal, told me he would not allow Amy to perform.He warned her that if she continued, she could have another seizure. It was a waste of time: the Civils wouldn’t accept that Blake had introduced Amy to Class A drugs and blamed her for Blake’s addiction. She wanted to go shopping, just the two of us, at Harrods.I bought her two sweaters that cost £140 each, a big chunk of the money I’d earned that week as a black-cab driver, and we had a really lovely time. The first gig of her UK tour, at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena, was shameful.But a few days later, I had a call from the hospital to tell me one of Blake’s friends had smuggled drugs into the hospital, crudely stuffed inside a teddy bear. I jumped in my cab, and reached the clinic just in time to see a known drug-dealer with a bunch of flowers for Amy.
She spent an enormous amount via her company Lioness Records on launching Dionne Bromfield, a young London singer who became her protege after Bromfield’s family introduced the teenager to Amy’s manager.My first impression was that Blake seemed to be a decent guy, if a bit scruffy.I wondered about his age, as his hair seemed to be receding. We made attempts to install Amy and Blake at the Causeway Retreat in Essex, for rehab.We had a bit of a chat and he told me that he was working as a video production assistant and wanted to get into pop videos. But they left early, choosing instead to check into a £500-a-night suite at the Sanderson Hotel in the West End of London.It was later that year, on the evening of Monday, August 6, when Amy had her first seizure. He put her in the recovery position but instead of calling an ambulance, he phoned Juliette, one of Amy’s oldest friends, who drove her to hospital. He said she had ‘just’ taken drugs, probably crack cocaine. I arranged to talk with Blake’s mother, Georgette and stepfather Giles.