Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch has addressed the late singer’s relationship with female ex-lover Catriona Gourlay.
Mitch, 70, and ex-wife Janis, 66, reflected on their late daughter’s life as well as her stint in rehab with BBC News on Friday, ahead of the release of documentary Reclaiming Amy next week.
Catriona recently claimed the star struggled with her sexuality, and in response Mitch said: ‘Catriona and Amy, they were sisters. They were more than best friends.
‘If they had that kind of relationship, I have no objections’: Amy Winehouse’s father Mitch addressed the late singer’s ‘romance with female ex-lover’ in an interview on Friday
‘And if they had that kind of relationship good luck to them. I have no objections – I just wanted Amy to be happy and I know she was always happy with Cat in whatever way. So that’s great.’
Going on to talk about Amy’s rehab stints for substance abuse, Mitch said of the time: ‘No-one knew what to do. Because obviously the responsibility of the addiction lies with the person who’s struggling with the addiction. As a family we could stand on our heads.
‘How many times we had family interventions, I lost count. How many times I took her into rehabs, and she’d walk out the next day.
‘We loved each other but she was confused’: Amy Winehouse’s female ex-lover Catriona Gourlay recently said the late star struggled with her sexuality (pictured together)
Thoughts: Mitch said: ‘If they had that kind of relationship good luck to them. I have no objections – I just wanted Amy to be happy and I know she was always happy with Cat’
‘It’s very difficult. I don’t think mistakes are the [right word] because there is no right or wrong way to deal with it.’
Amy’s mother Janis added, ‘We didn’t know what to do. It’s down to the individual who’s going through it – because they’re the only ones who could help themselves.’
Discussing their reasoning for making the documentary to mark 10 years since her tragic passing, Mitch went on: ‘We wanted for people to get a different view of her, to understand she was a loving, kind and very generous person.
‘You can’t airbrush all the horrible stuff out. We wouldn’t do that. But we wanted to emphasise what she was really like.
Candid: Going on to talk about Amy’s rehab stints for substance abuse, Mitch said of the time: ‘No-one knew what to do… How many times we had family interventions, I lost count’
Looking back: Amy’s mother Janis added, ‘We didn’t know what to do. It’s down to the individual who’s going through it – because they’re the only ones who could help themselves’
‘Even through the times she was seriously ill, what got her through it and what got us through it was our sense of humour.’
Mitch and Janis also discussed how Amy’s family and friends will mark her passing by visiting her grave in Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery, with Mitch saying: ‘Next week on the 23rd, we’re all together at the cemetery.
‘The first 10 minutes we’ll be sobbing and after that we’ll be in fits of laughter with a new Amy anecdote.’
Remembrance: The former couple also said her family and friends will visit Amy’s grave next week, and Janis said: ‘Although it’s not a joyful thing that we would celebrate it –we do’
Throwback: Unseen snaps of Amy as a child and with her mother Janis were revealed on Thursday ahead of the upcoming documentary Reclaiming Amy about her life
And Janis added: ‘My joke is “now I know where she is”. That’s the main thing.
‘Although it’s not a joyful thing that we would celebrate it –we do, we actually go and remember her. It’s just nice to be there.’
On Thursday, Amy’s ex-lover Catriona, who was one of the singer’s closest friends, claimed Amy struggled with her sexuality.
Catriona said the pair had an ‘undefined’ relationship where they ‘loved each other’ but it left the star feeling ‘confused’.
Beauty: The new intimate snaps also feature several when she was just a teenager, as she poses at parties and on family holidays
Family: In another polaroid image a fresh-face Amy cuddled up to her mum, now 66, as they both posed for the camera.
She made the confession on the BBC Two documentary Reclaiming Amy, which will air next week to mark 10 years since the singer’s death.
‘When I was 19/20, I’d already been in a long-term relationship with a girl at this point, so I knew who I was,’ Catriona said, according to Metro.
‘She [Amy] used to write notes while I was sleeping, “You were the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen,” and “How can you look as beautiful asleep as you do awake?”
‘Our relationship was so unique, undefined, we just loved each other very much and what I took from it, knowing her, is that she was confused about what it made her.’
Struggle: On Thursday, Catriona, who was one of the singer’s closest friends, said the pair had an ‘undefined’ relationship where they ‘loved each other’ but it left the star feeling ‘confused’
She continued: ‘When you have something that is so undefined for years, it’s hard because it’s the thing that I think is so fundamental in understanding her and the things that did trouble her.’
Catriona also recalled that Amy once joked in an interview ‘I am not a lesbian until I’ve had four sambucas’.
She added: ‘Perhaps people don’t realise that there were other relationships in her life where someone really did love her and care about her and would have done anything in her power to make her happy.’
Amy’s most high-profile relationship was with Blake Fielder-Civil.
Gone too soon: The confession was made on the BBC Two documentary Reclaiming Amy, which will air next week to mark 10 years since the singer’s death (pictured in 2007)
Troubled Amy married on-off boyfriend Blake in May 2007 however their turbulent relationship soon spiralled out of control and in August of that year the pair were photographed, bloodied and bruised, in the streets of London after an alleged fight.
Amy divorced former video production assistant Blake – who has since confessed he introduced the star to heroin – in August 2009.
In July 2011, Amy passed away following a vodka binge alone in her bedroom, where she was found by her security guard. Despite years of drug abuse, she was clean at the time of her death.
The singer’s life and struggles will be examined in the BBC2 documentary Reclaiming Amy.
In the film, the star’s mother Janis will tell the story of one of the UK’s greatest musical icons through new parts of her life that the public have never heard about.
Janis said: ‘I don’t feel the world knew the true Amy, the one that I brought up, and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to offer an understanding of her roots and a deeper insight into the real Amy.’
She says in the documentary: ‘You think you know my daughter. The drugs, the drink, the addiction, the destructive relationships. But there was so much more.’
Tragic: Amy’s most high-profile relationship was with Blake Fielder-Civil. Troubled Amy married on-off boyfriend Blake in 2007 and they divorced in 2009 (Amy and Blake pictured)
Amy’s parents Janis and Mitch set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation following her death.
They created the charity in honour of the late singer on what would have been her 28th birthday on the 14 September 2011.
Amy soared to fame upon the release of Frank in 2003, as she gained both critical and commercial success with the debut as her jazz-inspired vocals won fans all over before her second album Back To Black’s introduction three years later.
In a heartbreaking turn of fate, the London-born icon’s dazzling career was plighted by her demons after she fell into the clutches of drink and drug addiction.
‘I don’t feel the world knew the true Amy’: The singer’s parents Janis and Mitch set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation following her death as an addition to Amy’s legacy (pictured in 2008)
As she ascended higher on the fame ladder she discovered her demons – in drink, drugs and also eating disorders, which her brother Alex insists contributed to her death.
In 2011, an inquest gave a verdict of misadventure after finding that she had 416mg of alcohol per decilitre in her blood. A second inquest in 2013 confirmed that she died of accidental alcohol poisoning.
This is more than five times the legal drink-drive limit and enough to cause her to become comatose and depress her respiratory system.
Reclaiming Amy airs on BBC Two at 9pm on Friday 23rd July
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Heartbreaking: As she ascended higher on the fame ladder she discovered her demons – in drink, drugs and also eating disorders (pictured in 2007)