‘Back to Black’ Director Sam Taylor-Johnson Compares Amy Winehouse’s Tabloid Scrutiny to Kate Middleton’s

Back to Black filmmaker Sam Taylor-Johnson is opening up about the tabloid scrutiny late songstress Amy Winehouse faced before her untimely death. The director spoke with The Hollywood Reporter recently and explained how Kate Middleton is facing the same sort of onslaught amid her health crisis.

According to Taylor-Johnson, the frenzy that surrounded Winehouse before — and after — her death was similar to the firestorm of speculation and attention the Princess of Wales has had to deal with before — and after — revealing her cancer diagnosis. And it isn’t solely the fault of the media, who are feeding the hungry beast that is the public.

“People just want more, more, more,” Taylor-Johnson shares. “There’s a voracious appetite for needing every shred of information around somebody who’s so public.”

According to the director, she felt a sort of connection to Middleton’s plight. When she was 30, she was diagnosed with colon cancer, around the time she welcomed her first child with her previous husband, and then breast cancer three years later.

“All you really want to do is to cocoon yourself and your family,” Taylor-Johnson recalls of that time in her life. Which is why, when she saw Middleton having to address her private health battle publicly to stem the frenzy of conspiracy theories and speculation, she “felt pangs of anxiety around what she must be going through.”

Now, at 57, Taylor-Johnson still finds herself in the tabloids’ sights due to her marriage to her younger husband, actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, 33.

“There are times where it’s uncomfortable,” she says. “Most of the time we zone it out and stay pretty private. We tend to retreat. Kids and school runs keep you pretty grounded.”

The pair met in 2009, on the set of her directorial effort, Nowhere Boy. They sparked a romance, and began dating, before tying the knot in June 2012. The pair shares two daughters, while the filmmaker is also mom to two other daughters from her previous marriage.

With her new film, Back to Black, Taylor-Johnson is looking to share some of the brightness and glory of Winehouse’s life, which was overshadowed by her tragic death in 2011 at age 27.

“Everything that [Winehouse] had achieved was being eclipsed by the tragedy of how her life ended,” Taylor-Johnson shares. “I wanted to take her to a place where she had her agency back.”

Back to Black — starring Marisa Abela at the iconic songstress — hits theaters May 17.

With regard to Middleton’s surprising health revelation, ET spoke with royal expert Katie Nicholl back in March for some insight on the overwhelming tabloid coverage.

Nicholl acknowledged the public’s voracious hunt for information on Middleton’s absence, and she told ET that she believed “lessons have been learned” when it comes to how the palace shares details.

“My understanding is that the king was really behind her doing that video message even though it was a bit of a breach of protocol, just a bit of a departure for the norm, because he recognizes how important that connection with the public is,” Nicholl said of King Charles, who also revealed his own cancer diagnosis earlier this year. “He’s also been on the receiving end of that support from the public, and that has [helped] him through a very difficult period.”

“I do understand and can exclusively reveal on ET that she did speak to her father-in-law before the message,” Nicholl said, and of course with her husband, because she knew what she was doing was actually a little bit different from the norm and they both gave their full backing and recognized this was the best way to do it.”

See the video below for more on the controversial coverage of the Princess of Wales.

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