Bowie on drinking, driving and Diana

by John Sakamoto / Jam Music

2nd September 1997

David Bowie says the senseless death of Princess Diana has strengthened his already strong feelings about the issue of drinking and driving.

“I thought, of course, as the rest of the world did, that it was a great tragedy for anyone to die in those peculiar and, as it seems, careless circumstances,” Bowie said Tuesday from Bermuda, where he’s taking a short break before resuming his current tour in Vancouver this Saturday.

“For me it’s just more proof of the consequences of drinking and driving. I’m quite strong about that. I don’t think I would ever get into a car if I had any idea the driver had been drinking.”

Despite being pressed on the issue, Bowie was reluctant to jump into the ongoing debate about the role of the paparazzi, who have been implicated in the Paris car crash that claimed the life of Diana, companion Dodi Al Fayed, and driver Henri Paul, Saturday night.

“I don’t know if there’s any resolution to that particular issue,” he said, referring to the pack of freelance photographers that was reportedly pursuing Diana’s car immediately prior to the crash. “I think the far more serious thing for me is that drinking and driving once again has claimed a victim. Or, in this case, a number of victims.”

Reports out of Paris say that driver Paul had a blood-alcohol level exceeding three times the legal limit for intoxication.

Bowie, who said he has no real interest in the Royal Family, had nonetheless met Princess Di “at two or three functions” over the years.

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