Beleaguered Grammy winner Amy Winehouse, who has battled drug and alcohol woes and a train wreck of a love life, finally caught a break Friday when a British judge dismissed assault charges against her.
Former fan Sherene Flash accused the singer of hitting her when Flash asked to have her picture taken with Winehouse. But the judge said there was not enough evidence that any strike was on purpose.
"The charge is dismissed and the defendant is discharged," said the judge, prompting Winehouse to stop fidgeting nervously and breathe a sigh of relief.
Flash, a dancer who met Winehouse backstage after a ball in London's Berkeley Square, said the singer punched her in the eye when all she wanted was a picture. Winehouse, who stands at 5-foot-3, claimed she was too short to punch Flash, who is four inches taller. Winehouse also said that when Flash lunged at her, trying to put her arm around her, she pushed her away.
Judge Timothy Workman, who had trouble deciphering what happened because most of the people involved in the incident were drunk "to varying degrees," acquitted Winehouse because the medical evidence presented was not conducive to a forceful punch to the eye.
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.
Winehouse recently returned from an extended break on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Last week a judge granted her a divorce from her husband of two years, Blake Fielder-Civil.
Winehouse, who left the courtroom lost in a mob of photographers and reporters said, "I'm relieved. I'm going home."
In a statement read by a spokesman, Winehouse said she was, "very happy to move on with her life and put the episode behind her." Her lawyer, Patrick Gibbs, who was far more critical, said "the main injury was probably to Ms. Flash's pride."
While Prosecution lawyer Lyall Thompson said the backstage fight was "deliberate," Winehouse said she acted out of fear.
"I thought, 'People are mad these days, people are just rude and mad or people can't handle their drink," Winehouse said."
"I think she was being overly friendly but that was intimidating," Winehouse continued. "I was scared. I'm not Mickey Mouse, I'm a human being."