Hitman for Hire Caught on Tape; New Accusation against George Zimmerman; JVM Most Wanted: Help Find a Killer; Remembering Amy Winehouse
Aired June 27, 2012 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
And tonight I`ll go one-on-one with the father of the late Amy Winehouse, the gifted "Rehab" singer whose life was shattered by addiction. Her father, Mitch Winehouse, opens up about the tragic series of events leading up to Amy`s untimely death.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
AMY WINEHOUSE, SINGER: I don`t really care enough what people think of me to conform to anything.
MITCH WINEHOUSE, FATHER OF Amy WINEHOUSE: We`re devastated -- I`ve been banging on for the last three years about the fact she hadn`t taken any drugs for three years. Well, alcohol is a different issue. How do you control somebody else`s addictions?
I think she was a strong young lady that had a weakness.
AMY WINEHOUSE: Although I guess it`s a weakness, isn`t it? A weakness.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a superstar`s life cut short. Now singer Amy Winehouse`s father is courageously opening up about the death of his beloved and supremely talented daughter.
The soulful singer and six-time Grammy winner, Amy Winehouse, tragically died of accidental alcohol poisoning at the young age of 27. Fans converged on her London home to grieve for the woman who wowed the whole world with super hits like "Back to Black" from Island Records.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amy`s father`s got a must-read new book called "Amy, My Daughter" and I urge everyone who`s a parent to check this out. Joining me now I`m very privileged to have with me onset the man who was so close to Amy that she had "daddy`s girl" tattooed on her arm to honor her father, Mitch Winehouse. Thank you so much.
Your book -- extraordinary. I`m in the process of reading it. First of all, I would like to say that I admire you for your ability to be so brave and to talk about not only her achievements, but her struggles particularly with hard drugs. What would you say to parents who might be in the same situation that you were in? What advice, what can we learn from this tragedy?
M. WINEHOUSE: That`s a very good question, Jane. I`m not sure because I`m not qualified to give any advice. And the thing is we sought the best advice that we could get in the UK. I sat with six of the most eminent clinical psychologists in the UK and in fact they were arguing in front of me about what we should do.
So, really, if they couldn`t give me -- I mean, the thing is you`ve got to follow your heart. You really have to follow your heart. Some will say tough love. Some say soft love. And somewhere in the middle you will find the correct approach -- the approach that`s right for your daughter and right for your family.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: As long as the word love is in there somewhere, I suppose that`s the main point.
M. WINEHOUSE: That`s exactly right.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Of course a song that really made Amy a superstar is "Rehab" from Republic Records.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: If you listen to those lyrics closely, you hear Amy singing "my daddy thinks I`m fine", but Mitch, there was a moment where you describe -- actually, it`s on page 86 that a doctor tells you Amy had, quote, "just taken drugs, probably crack cocaine" and you go on to say "Words cannot describe the depths to which I plummeted. I had to sit down before I fell. This was a bombshell. Amy had always been dead against hard drugs. Why had that changed?"
So why had that changed? Was her meteoric rise to superstardom part of it? Because that often is.
M. Winehouse: No, I don`t think so. I think it was partly to do with my mother`s passing, May 2006. And she was most vulnerable. She was -- as we all were, but she was extra devastated, so close to my mom. And at that point, Blake, her future husband, re-emerged. And Blake with a woman who was vulnerable, that is not a good mix. That can only end one way, and that`s disaster.
And he took the blame. He said that he introduced Amy to Class A drugs. "She took to it like a duck to water. Great words to say about your wife." That`s what he said -- quotes. So whether she would have found her another way to Class A drugs or not, I can`t say. But he stood up and said he is responsible for that.
He`s certainly not responsible for her death. But he is responsible for introducing her to Class A drugs.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And ironically we tried to reach him to get comment because you made these comments in the book.
M. WINEHOUSE: Difficult. He`s in prison.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s in prison so we couldn`t reach him.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: We asked you for fun pictures and videos of your pets and we got some great ones. Send us more, hlntv.com.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
M. WINEHOUSE: She had been on drugs for three years or nigh on three years and the last six weeks of her life, it was two weeks of sobriety, one day of drinking and then three weeks of sobriety and then finally the last two days where she drank a lot of alcohol. But that`s a typical pattern of someone who`s moving towards sobriety. And we were all very, very hopeful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VELEZ-MITCHELL: That was Mr. Winehouse yesterday on "Good Morning America". And Mitch Winehouse is here tonight with me. His astounding book is called "Amy, My Daughter" and every parent should read this because it`s really incredible honest.
Now, I have to say I`m a recovering alcoholic with 17 years of sobriety. And I just feel we`re both on the same page, we`re just trying to understand addiction and how to work with it and deal with it. You say that she was sort of -- she had gotten off drugs, but she was drinking alcohol occasionally.
A lot of experts say either you`re sober or you are not. I happen to agree with that. And there`s no managing your addiction, that that is really a prescription for disaster. What are your thoughts about that?
M. WINEHOUSE: Well, I agree. But the fact is she did stop taking drugs three years ago and she was moving towards sobriety. She said to me around about April time 2011, "It`s going to be the same as the drugs, dad. It`s going to take me a while." And the last six weeks of her life, five and a half of them were spent sober. She didn`t drink at all. But the last two days, she drank an inordinate amount of alcohol.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: And that`s, of course, why she got the alcohol poisoning.
M. WINEHOUSE: Yes. But that was -- she was -- that`s the typical pattern of somebody moving into sobriety.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: But there are those who say you can`t manage it this way. In other words, they talk about we thought we could find an easier, softer way but we could not. We stood at the turning point and we had to let go with complete abandon.
M. Winehouse. Well, I agree. Yes.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: I mean was there a reason very briefly why she chose that path?
M. WINEHOUSE: Which path, you mean to drink?
VELEZ-MITCHELL: No, just like gradual?
M. WINEHOUSE: It was easier for her. And it worked with the drugs. And it was beginning to work with the alcohol. I agree with you if you`re going to be abstinent, you just stop. But she wasn`t at that point where she was ready to just stop. She was with the drugs, but she wasn`t with the alcohol. That`s the bottom line.
VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I want to thank you so much. You`re extraordinary, your daughter was extraordinary. The world will always love her music.
M. WINEHOUSE: Thank you Jane. I appreciate it.