Pete Doherty has opened up to Louis Theroux about the death of Mark Blanco back in 2006, and said he “understands” the anger his mother feels towards him.
The discussion arose as the Libertines and Babyshambles singer took part in a new series hosted by Theroux, titled Louis Theroux Interviews, which took a close look at the life and career of the musician.
In one part of the interview, the focus was turned to the death of amateur actor Mark Blanco, who died while attending a party that Doherty was also at.
Held at the east London flat of Paul Roundhill, the incident occurred in 2006 when the actor fell from the first-story balcony and died of a sustained head injury. Doherty has always denied any knowledge of how Blanco came to lie dying on the pavement after going over the stairwell balcony. Following an investigation, the police brought no charges against Doherty.
However, there has always been some uncertainty about the circumstances surrounding Blanco’s death – particularly after Doherty was seen on CCTV footage running from the scene. The victim’s mother, Sheila, has also led a long-running campaign trying to establish what happened to her son.
“You couldn’t blame her for that either. Her son fell to his death and some people, I think, genuinely believe he was thrown to his death. And then I’m on camera running away,” Doherty told the host during the episode.
“I never met Sheila Blanco, but I can understand her anger,” he added. “I think her anger at me is… well, it is misplaced. Although [the circumstances were] also shady and fucked up.”
Later in the discussion, Doherty recalled his memories from the night in question – including the “friction” between himself and Blanco, and the reasons why he fled from the crime scene.
“He’d been happy for me to know about this play he was doing called Accidental Death Of An Anarchist, about a guy who falls to his death from a balcony, so I was quite excited. But then when I met him there was a bit of friction between us… I couldn’t connect with him at all. Something weird was going on.”
He added: “There was an altercation with Mark Blanco. We all had an altercation with Mark Blanco. There was pushing and shoving – this childish playground thing going on. And then the next thing is he’s on the floor and his skull’s cracked open.
“I probably didn’t take it seriously enough at that moment. Maybe I should have just stood my ground, taken a deep breath, and had the fucking balls to just flush everything down the toilet and be there when the police came. But I didn’t want to see the police. I didn’t want to. It was a fucking inconvenience to me and that’s an awful thing to say because he’s lying there, dead on the street and I was more concerned about getting nicked for possession.”
Doherty continued, going on to retrace the feeling of “so much fucking relief” when the police did not bring any charges against him – especially with him “being arrested left, right and centre then” for drug possession.
The speculation around the death of Blanco arose again earlier this year, when a documentary titled Pete Doherty, Who Killed My Son? aired in September, and saw the victim’s mother claim that she didn’t believe her son fell to his death on the night.
“He was definitely pushed over, thrown over, but the Metropolitan Police do not wish to uncover what the truth is. It’s not the job of a mother to investigate her son’s death,” she said in the show, urging police to re-open their investigation and ask more questions of those present for a better understanding.
Responding to the documentary at the time, Doherty told The Evening Standard: “There is no new information to have. The further away we get from that moment, whatever happened to Mark, the less likely we are to find out… Her feelings are valid so if her taking it out on me makes her feel better, let her do it.”
The life and career of the Libertines’ frontman was also explored in a new documentary titled Stranger In My Own Skin. Made by his bandmate and wife Katia De Vidas, NME gave the project a four-star review for its “heartbreaking” and “close to the bone” depiction of the singer.
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