Amy Winehouse’s Family and Boyfriend Discuss Her Last Days on ‘Anderson’
Today, Amy Winehouse's family spoke out for the first time after the singer's death on 'Anderson.' Anderson Cooper interviewed Amy's father Mitch, her mother Janis, her stepmom Jane, her aunt Rene, and her boyfriend Reg. The group gathered in front of a live studio audience of Amy's fans (who held signs and wore beehive hairdos to honor the songstress) to discuss Amy's final days, her plans for the future, and why her father Mitch feels Amy's spirit is still with her loved ones.
Mitch Winehouse -- who said Amy wrote 'Rehab' in his home in about 10 minutes -- spoke about his daughter's death during the interview. He said that he wouldn't have been surprised if "four years ago she had died," but asserted that Amy had not been involved with hard drug use in the last couple of years before her death.
However, Mitch did admit that "the problem was alcohol the last few years of her life," but she was taking Librium to help with alcohol detox and the seizures that can often come with it. In the past, Mitch has said that he believed Amy's choice to detox naturally was probably the reason for her death, and today he said that she probably had a seizure and "there was no one there to help her this time," referring to the day of her death.
One of the saddest parts of the interview was when Cooper spoke to Amy's boyfriend Reg, who she had dated for two years up until her death. Two days before her death, Reg -- who said he loved Amy's sense of humor and sharp wit -- was with his girlfriend and they were excited about their future plans together. He said, "She was really, really excited and upbeat because we were going to [her close friend's] wedding and we were looking forward to it for weeks ... We were also talking about going on holiday which actually would've been a few days ago … We were gonna go to St. Lucia for Amy's birthday."
Reg also discussed the fact that he had tried to talk to Amy about her alcohol use, but it was a difficult subject to bring up, especially when it's with your significant other. "There were ups and downs. We did talk about it," Reg said. "You have to choose the right time because you don't want to be someone who's nagging. You can't preach about it."
When he heard the news of her death, Amy's father was in Manhattan visiting a cousin who just had twins. Her security guard called him, and Mitch recollected that moment. "Andrew [her security guard] was crying and I said to him, 'Is Amy dead?' and he said, 'Yeah.'" While this may seem like an odd first question to ask, Mitch's bond was so strong with his daughter that he knew at that moment. Reg was also taken aback by the news, and described the experience as "kind of like tunnel vision."
Mitch continued, "I could hear from [Andrew's] voice that he was inconsolable. I just wanted to get back and be with Amy and be with my family." He also spoke about the fact that the fans who gathered outside of Amy's apartment in London helped him and his family deal with the overwhelming grief. Amy's mother Janis said, "People thanked me for having Amy … That's when I knew it was something else."
Even though Amy is gone, Mitch feels as if his daughter's spirit is still present amongst her loved ones. "When I did the eulogy [at Amy's funeral], a black butterfly came in and I had my head down because I was reading and I could hear people muttering ... It landed on Kelly Osbourne's shoulder and flew around. Have you ever heard anything like that in your life?"
On Sept. 14, 2011, Amy Winehouse would've turned 28 years old. In honor of her birthday and her life, her family will launch their charity The Amy Winehouse Foundation on that day. During the interview, Mitch said the foundation will "raise money for disadvantaged children suffering with drug abuse and ill health in the UK."