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Amy Winehouse: I'm too short to have hit tall fan

The Associated Press, Thursday, July 23, 2009, 3:54pm (PDT)

LONDON (AP) -- Amy Winehouse told a London court Thursday that she was too short to have punched a fan in the face, saying her trademark beehive makes her look taller than she is.

The 25-year-old "Back to Black" singer is on trial accused of hitting dancer Sherene Flash in the eye after the fan asked to take her picture following a September charity ball in London's Berkeley Square.

Winehouse told District Judge Timothy Workman that, at "5 foot 2 1/2 or 5 foot 3" (about 160 centimeters), she was too short to have hit the woman in the face. Flash is 5 foot 7 inches (about 175 centimeters) tall.

"My hair does make a difference," said the singer, who sported her signature hairdo in court.

Winehouse left the witness box to show Workman her shoes, which she said were similar to those she wore on the night of the alleged assault.

"These are really flat. They don't even have a sole," she said.

Winehouse, known as much for her chaotic lifestyle as her soulful music, arrived at City of Westminster Magistrates' Court for the hearing dressed in a gray pinstripe suit.

Winehouse, who was granted a divorce from her husband Blake Fielder-Civil a week ago, gave her name in court as Amy Jade Civil and sat quietly, occasionally taking notes, as prosecutors outlined the case against her.

She appeared relaxed and healthy as she took the stand and denied punching Flash. She said she had felt intimidated and annoyed when Flash "lunged at me and put her arm around me," and had only meant to push the other woman's arm away.

"I pushed her up, like away. I wanted her away from me," Winehouse said.

"It was more like an indication of 'leave me alone, I'm scared of you.'"

"I meant to just get her away from me. I was scared. I thought, people are mad these days, people are just rude and mad, or people can't handle their drink."

Questioned about her lifestyle, Winehouse — who has confronted by dozens of photographers when she left the courthouse to smoke a cigarette at the lunch hour — denied she was a prima donna.

"I'm not like that. I'm not a Jennifer Lopez — paint the room white before I get there and I want five bunches of lilies," she said.

Prosecutor Lyall Thompson said the incident was "a deliberate assault by Miss Winehouse."

"There was nothing accidental about Miss Winehouse's actions," he said.

Thompson said Winehouse appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or "some other substance" when she hit Flash.

Thompson said Winehouse initially agreed to have her picture taken, but may have been angered when a drunken friend of Flash tried to get into the photo.

"Miss Winehouse may have felt she had generously agreed to be photographed on her own and not with a drunken stranger," he said.

But he said that was no excuse for hitting Flash in the eye.

The court was played a recording of Flash's call to police following the alleged attack. Asked by the operator who had assaulted her, she said "Amy Winehouse of all (expletive) people."

The singer shot to stardom with the Grammy-winning album "Back to Black" in 2006, but her music has been overshadowed by reports of drug use, run-ins with the law and a tempestuous marriage.

In recent months she has kept out of the headlines, after returning from an extended break on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

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More on Wonderwall:

Hollywood's Worst Hangovers, featuring Miss Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse, Fitness Fanatic

See photos of Amy Winehouse

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