herald

Wednesday 12 December 2018

I believe Amy had seizure from alcohol withdrawal, reveals dad

AMY WINEHOUSE'S father said he believes she died after suffering a seizure related to alcohol detoxification and "there was nobody there to rescue her".

The soul diva (27) who had fought drug and alcohol problems for years, was found dead in bed at her London home on July 23.

Her family said toxicology reports indicated there was alcohol in her bloodstream but it was unclear whether this had contributed to her death.



abstinence

Mitch Winehouse said during a taping of US news anchor Anderson Cooper's new talk show that traces of the prescription drug Librium, used to fight anxiety and withdrawal symptoms, were found in her body.

"Everything Amy did, she did to excess," he said on the show, which is to air on Monday in the US.

"She drank to excess and did detox to excess."

He said he regretted that his daughter -- whose most famous song, Rehab, has her answering "no, no, no" when told to go to rehab -- was trying to kick her alcoholism without a doctor's help.

He said "the periods of abstinence were becoming longer, and the periods of drinking were becoming shorter. It was heading in the right direction".

The singer, whose other hits include Tears Dry On Their Own, had suffered seizures during this period and would lose consciousness.

Her father admitted he was speculating that this happened on the morning she died and said he should find out more conclusively how she died when a full inquest into her death begins next month.

Years earlier, when Amy Winehouse was on heroin and cocaine, her father said, he would not have been surprised if she had died.

Mitch Winehouse, who is starting his own singing career, was in New York when his daughter's security guard called him in July.

Hearing the distraught tone of the security guard's voice, the father said his first words were: "Is she dead?"

Amy Winehouse's breakthrough Back To Black album was recently certified as the best-selling disc in Britain so far during the 21st century. The updated take on old-time soul also was responsible for five Grammy Awards.

"When she wasn't drinking," her father said, "she was absolutely on top of the world."

He said he was comforted by the outpouring of support from her fans. Her mother Janis said she has had people approach her to thank her for having the singer.

Amy Winehouse's boyfriend at the time of her death, Reg Traviss, said they had spent a quiet evening looking at pictures and watching DVDs two days before she died.

They were looking forward to attending a friend's wedding and were planning a trip to St Lucia for her birthday.

hnews@herald.ie

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