Entertainment & Arts

Joni Mitchell 'not in coma' despite reports

Joni Mitchell in 2013 Image copyright AP
Image caption Mitchell, pictured in 2013, is known for such hits as Big Yellow Taxi

Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is "alert and... has her full senses" and is "not in a coma", a statement on her official website says.

The statement followed reports the 71-year-old, hospitalised last month after being found unconscious at home, was not able to care for herself.

A friend filed a petition this week to become Mitchell's guardian, in which the singer was said to be unresponsive.

Leslie Morris has now insisted that "a full recovery is expected".

"Contrary to rumours circulating on the Internet today, Joni is not in a coma," Tuesday's statement read.

"Joni is still in the hospital - but she comprehends, she's alert, and she has her full senses.

"The document obtained by a certain media outlet simply gives her long-time friend Leslie Morris the authority - in the absence of 24-hour doctor care - to make care decisions for Joni once she leaves the hospital.

'Strong-willed woman'

"As we all know, Joni is a strong-willed woman and is nowhere near giving up the fight."

On Tuesday the TMZ website claimed the petition, filed by Morris, stated Mitchell "remains unconscious and [was] unable to make any responses".

The petition was reportedly accompanied by a doctor's declaration stating that the singer would be unable to attend a court hearing for four to six months.

Mitchell was rushed to intensive care on 31 March but was subsequently said to have regained consciousness and to be "in good spirits".

The Canadian-born singer, known for such hits as Big Yellow Taxi and Chelsea Morning, revealed last year she had a rare skin condition that prevented her from performing.

Singer Ellie Goulding, actress Rita Wilson and the BBC's Jeremy Vine are among those to have tweeted goodwill messages following initial reports on her allegedly comatose state.

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