Irate Channel 4 viewers who watched last night’s incendiary Michael Barrymore documentary have accused guests involved in the ‘orgy’ at the fallen star’s mansion of hiding the truth about Stuart Lubbock’s swimming pool death.
31-year-old Stuart was found dead at the entertainer’s Essex home in 2001 – and a post-mortem examination showed he had suffered appalling internal injuries that revealed he was violently raped.
Last night’s documentary examined the events that night including claims Mr Barrymore was drunk and told a taxi driver who drove him to the party at his home: ‘I could do with a f*** right now.’
The TV star has always denied any wrongdoing and claims he has been ‘bashed and bullied’ ever since that fateful night – but Essex Police insist Stuart was raped and murdered and all the eight people at the £2million mansion that night remain suspects.
The show, which went into gruesome detail about the father-of-two’s injuries and revealed his family’s 19-years of grief, prompted an angry response from viewers.
One person was moved to tweet: ‘Watching this programme is making my blood boil. Of those people at the party, at least one of them knows the truth about how Stuart died. How can they live with themselves, keeping the truth from the Lubbock family? It’s utterly unforgivable’.
Another branded the alleged secrecy of the eight guests at the party ‘a total disgrace!’ while another critic wrote: ‘This is scandalous and utterly pathetic – I’m horrified’.
The team behind Barrymore: Body In The Pool’s were given access to Stuart’s post-mortem photographs – but they were too awful for TV, even after the watershed.
Producer Owen Phillips told Metro.co.uk: ‘The photos are the most horrific thing anyone could imagine seeing.
‘We thought long and hard about whether to put them in the film, but they are just too gruesome. There are internal injuries where he’s been completely ripped open’.
Stuart’s body and eyes had several popped blood vessels – suggesting he may have been strangled during sex – prior to his death.
During and after last night’s film there was also an outpouring of sympathy for Mr Lubbock, who would have died in agony.
One viewer said: ‘Stuart’s injuries were horrendous & somebody capable of that is not just drunk or high but evil’.
Another tweeted: ‘This Barrymore doc about the death of Stuart Lubbock is horrific. Somebody knows where and how Stuart sustained those injuries, and somebody else has almost certainly heard somebody else talking about it, such is human nature.’
One upset Channel 4 viewer said: ‘It’s so sad for the Lubbock family, devastatingly awful and I understand how they will never get over any of this, there has been no closure for them’.
Fallen TV star Barrymore yesterday broke his silence about the death of a guest at his home 19 years ago to complain he was being ‘bashed and bullied’ by the media.
Barrymore, 67, posted a video on Twitter yesterday in which he protested his innocence and offered his ‘heartfelt sympathies’ to Mr Lubbock’s family.
He said: ‘I have had nothing to do with this whatsoever and yet I keep getting bashed and bullied by the media.
‘My heartfelt sympathies are with the Lubbock family and I truly hope they find peace.’
He also said that Channel 4 bosses are ‘refusing’ to show him the documentary – called Barrymore: The Body in the Pool – or tell him what is in it.
Mr Lubbock’s father Terry, 75, last night accused Barrymore of ‘crocodile tears’.
He said: ‘It’s a joke, isn’t it? I’m not buying it.’
Barrymore spoke out after a week in which the senior detective in charge of a new probe in the case.
Detective Chief Inspector Stephen Jennings, who is now in charge of the case, has revealed that two items possibly used in the brutal assault on Mr Lubbock – a pool thermometer and outhouse handle – went missing.
The crime scene was not properly secured after his death as officers at first assumed the factory worker had drowned.
Mr Jennings has also said it was likely at least two people were involved in the crime.
Barrymore and two other people were arrested on suspicion of rape and serious assault in 2007. No charges were brought due to lack of evidence.
He later won an unlawful arrest case on a technicality and was awarded nominal damages.
The cause of Mr Lubbock’s death was never established and an open verdict recorded by a coroner following conflicting reports from pathologists.
Earlier this week, Mr Jennings said: ‘I believe that he [Mr Lubbock] was raped and murdered that night.
‘One or more of those party-goers are responsible for that serious sexual assault.’
Essex Police and Crimestoppers this week offered a £20,000 reward for information leading to arrests.