EXCLUSIVE: Amy Winehouse’s father, Mitch, splits from his second wife as the 72-year-old reveals the strain trying to rescue his late daughter from her troubles with alcohol and drugs put on his marriage
It was 12 years ago that Mitch Winehouse lost his daughter Amy. And now he is nursing a new heartache – the unravelling of his marriage.
He battled to get his beloved daughter to abandon the boozy lifestyle which was killing her even as she enjoyed extraordinary success.
When his efforts ended in heartbreaking failure with her death, aged 27, Mitch and second wife Jane established, with Amy’s mother Janis, the Amy Winehouse Foundation in the hope of inspiring young people to spare themselves from a similar path.
But while the charity continues to thrive, he and Jane – the woman for whom he left Janis when Amy was only nine – have gone their separate ways.
‘I haven’t made a public announcement,’ Mitch, 72, tells me, explaining that he has been reticent to do so because Jane, 59, remains, like him, a trustee of the foundation.
It was 12 years ago that Mitch Winehouse lost his daughter Amy (pictured at the Brit Awards in 2007)
Mitch (second from right) and Jane (left) – the woman for whom he left Janis (second left) when Amy was only nine – have gone their separate ways
Insisting their separation was amicable, Mitch suggests that the first strains on their relationship date back to when Amy was falling apart under the cosh of binges on alcohol and narcotics.
He would do what he could to help. ‘I would get a call at 3am and run out at 4am,’ Mitch says, adding that this inevitably took a toll on his marriage.
He felt compelled to reassure his wife that his nocturnal assignations really did involve his only daughter. ‘I said to her: ‘Listen! There are no other women!’
Jane could have been forgiven for thinking that history was repeating itself.
After all, she and Mitch had begun their affair while he was married to Janis, a pharmacist, with whom he had Amy and her brother, Alex.
Mitch made no real effort to disguise his feelings for Jane, brazenly bringing her home on Friday night for Jewish family suppers.
The stoical Janis, who was later diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, referred to Jane as his ‘work wife’.
But eventually she had had enough. Aware that Mitch was at Jane’s Essex flat, she put Amy and Alex into her car and drove to confront the lovers.
Mitch Winehouse with his wife Jane attend the Amy Winehouse Foundation Ball at the Dorchester Hotel on November 20, 2013
Insisting their separation was amicable, Mitch (pictured with Amy at The Q Awards in 2006) suggests that the first strains on their relationship date back to when Amy was falling apart under the cosh of binges on alcohol and narcotics
She and Mitch divorced in 1993. He and Jane married in 1996. Yet in the years that followed, Janis forgave him.
She and Mitch remained bonded by their desperate quest to save their daughter from her addictions. ‘None of us are perfect’, Mitch said.
‘Jane was so even tempered, as was Janis. They need to be with me – I’m a Sagittarian tiger! Actually, we get on better.
‘We are all still friends and all still running the Foundation together.’
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