Winehouse Dad Declines to Blame Ex-Husband For Her Death

By Anthony Daconti 09/15/11

The late singer's father launches an international addiction charity on the day she would have turned 28.

Judging Amy: singer would have turned 28 yesterday. Photo via

Mitch Winehouse formally launched the Amy Winehouse Foundation yesterday, marking what would have been his daughter's 28th birthday. The charity is intended to help young people with problems including ill-health, disability and addiction in Britain and abroad. Winehouse Sr. recently revealed more about the unexpected death of the troubled British singing sensation in an interview with Anderson Cooper. The bereaved father explained that his daughter had been off illegal drugs for three years at the time of her death—but confirmed that she was taking prescribed Librium, a medication commonly used to help lower the chances of seizures and anxiety during alcohol detox. Toxicology reports confirmed the presence of Librium in Amy’s body, but with an inquest due next month it's still unknown whether it contributed to her death. Personally, Mitch believes that his daughter suffered a seizure and “there was nobody there to rescue her.” This may not be too far off the mark—substance abuse treatment experts say alcohol detox can be more dangerous than most people imagine. “Alcohol detox is the only actual drug detox you can die from,” explains Cyndie Dunkerson, clinical supervisor for Hope By the Sea, a California alcohol and drug detox and rehabilitation center. “The body just doesn’t handle getting off of it very well.” Dr. Philip Gilly, medical director of the Maplegrove Center at Henry Ford Health System in Michigan, adds that a seizure can be caused after 24 hours of withdrawal from long-term Librium use. “Librium can become addictive [and] in severe cases, seizures can occur.” Mitch Winehouse also told Sky News that it would be "stupid" to blame Amy's incarcerated ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil for her death, but that "from his own lips he said that he introduced Amy to hard drugs and he has to accept responsibility for that."

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