- - Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Winehouse coroner resigns; inquest may be repeated

The coroner who oversaw the inquest into the death of singer Amy Winehouse has resigned after her qualifications were questioned, officials said Wednesday — raising the possibility the investigation may have to be held again.

Winehouse’s relatives said they were still absorbing the implications of the news and were seeking legal advice.

In October, Suzanne Greenaway ruled that the soul singer had died from accidental alcohol poisoning.

Ms. Greenaway had been appointed an assistant deputy coroner in London in 2009 by her husband, Coroner Andrew Reid. She resigned in November after authorities learned she had not been a registered U.K. lawyer for five years as required. She had practiced law for a decade in her native Australia.

“I appointed my wife as an assistant deputy coroner as I believed at the time that her experience as a solicitor and barrister in Australia satisfied the requirements of the post,” Mr. Reid said in a statement Wednesday. “In November of last year, it became apparent that I had made an error in the appointment process, and I accepted her resignation.”

Ms. Greenaway oversaw 12 inquests in Camden, the north London borough where Winehouse lived, and others in eastern London.

Mr. Reid said he was “confident that all of the inquests handled were done so correctly” — but offered to hold the inquests again if the families of the deceased want it.

Winehouse’s family said it had not yet decided what to do.

A security guard found Winehouse dead in bed July 23 at her home in Camden. The 27-year-old singer, known for her beehive hairdos and multiple-Grammy-winning album “Back to Black,” had battled drug and alcohol addiction for years.

Smithsonian honors Eastwood; theater to open on Mall

The Smithsonian Institution was to honor Clint Eastwood on Wednesday for his six decades of work in American film, with the actor and director cutting the ribbon to open a new movie theater to showcase film history at the National Museum of American History.

Mr. Eastwood was to visit the museum Wednesday evening to help dedicate the new Warner Bros. Theater as a space to present the history of Hollywood. Warner Bros. Entertainment donated $5 million in 2010 to renovate the museum’s old Carmichael Auditorium into a modern theater with 3-D projection capability.

The new theater gives the Smithsonian its first space dedicated to film history, museum spokeswoman Melinda Machado said. The 264-seat theater will be able to screen silent films and first-run movies.

“Films are an integral part of our culture and our daily lives,” said Marc Pachter, interim director of the museum.

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