updated 07/23/2009 AT 12:45 PM ET
•originally published 07/23/2009 AT 10:10 AM ET
Amy Winehouse was “scared” as she was asked to pose for a photograph backstage at a charity event last September, she told a court in her assault trial Thursday.
The singer – who asked to be addressed by her married name Amy Civil – was happy to pose with dancer Sherene Flash, but said that when she asked for a minute to see a friend off, Flash refused. “She lent down all over me. She had her face down by me,” Winehouse told City of Westminster magistrate’s court, London.
Describing herself as an undemanding, low-maintenance celebrity, Winehouse said on the stand, “I’m not a Jennifer Lopez, paint the room white before I get there, and I want five bunches of lilies.”
By the same measure, said Winehouse, Flash “was pretty much leaning on me. She’s a big girl. She was being overly presumptuous. I’m not Mickey Mouse. I’m a human being.”
Dressed in a somber gray suit, trademark black eye make-up and a demure string of pearls, Winehouse, who in March pleaded not guilty to the assault charge, further described the scene of the alleged skirmish.
‘People Are Rude’
In the dressing room area backstage, the singer, 25, said that as she moved her left hand across her face, she pushed her right hand upwards, towards Flash. “She’s there, she’s tall. I wanted her away from me,” she told the court. “I thought: ‘Do I get a choice in this? Hello?’ People are mad, people are rude.”
As if to emphasize the height differences, the 5’, 2½” Winehouse moved away from the evidence box and showed chief Magistrate Timothy Workman her flat pink ballet pumps. “And my hair does make a difference,” the often-beehived singer added.
Winehouse had been at the event – the Berkeley Square summer ball – to support and sing backing vocals for her goddaughter Dionne Bromfield. It was her goddaughter’s first gig, Winehouse told the court, smiling.
Alleged Direct Blow
Earlier, prosecuting lawyer Lyall Thompson told the court that there was “nothing accidental about Miss Winehouse’s actions. It may be that well-known figures find such requests tiresome, but they need to develop strategies” to deal with them. “She acted with deliberate and unjustifiable violence,” he said of Winehouse allegedly landing a “direct blow” to Flash’s face with her right hand.
Flash called the cops and later saw a doctor. She said she was left with a “slightly swollen” right eye after the incident. Flash told the court that she had been dancing at the event and then, later, went backstage with a friend to see if they could meet the Grammy-winner.
She said that she had not touched Winehouse. Asked by Winehouse’s lawyer Patrick Gibbs if she had “misread” the situation, Flash answered, “Even if I did, it doesn’t give someone the right to punch me in the face.”
Flash, who admitted she was “tipsy,” described Winehouse as seeming “drunk.” Other witnesses concurred, with Jack Jefferson saying of her performance earlier: “Her speech was slurred and she didn’t appear to be in control of her physical actions.”
Dealing with Fame
When prosecutor Thompson asked Winehouse how she dealt with fame, she said that the positives included: “Getting to meet nice people and help people.” And the drawbacks? “I just deal with it. It’s life.”
Yet she was quick to add, “It’s not necessarily unwanted. It’s nice to meet nice people. It’s not a demand on my time.” And if it gets too irksome, “I just say. ‘I’m sorry, I have got to go and see my dad.’ ”