UK TV star Michael Barrymore re-arrested over pool death probe

Thursday, June 14, 2007

United Kingdom entertainer and former television presenter Michael Barrymore, 55, and two other men have been arrested on suspicion of murder and serious sexual assault concerning the death of Stuart Lubbock in 2001. Lubbock was found floating in Barrymore's swimming pool. Postmortem toxicology reports found that his bloodstream contained a cocktail of cocaine, ecstasy and alcohol. Further, the autopsy revealed that Lubbock had suffered severe internal injuries consistent with a serious sexual assault.

Confidential sources named the two other men arrested as John Kenney, 37, and Justin Merritt, 32. Both were previously arrested six years ago with Barrymore by an earlier police investigation.

The arrests seemed to have been made after new evidence emerged. Essex police said that they have tapes of interviews with Barrymore. The tapes were made by Tony Cowell, brother of Simon Cowell, and literary agent for Barrymore.

However, an Essex police spokesperson said, "The arrests were planned prior to Essex police obtaining those tapes. The arrests are the result of a culmination of work by Essex police over 12 months in the form of a review and investigation."