Amy’s songs inspired by dad’s cheating
PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 09:35 23 August 2010
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TROUBLED singer Amy Winehouse had her past family life exposed by dad Mitch in a TV show. In One Life: Rock Star Parents, screened on BBC1 on Tuesday, Mitch Winehouse revealed what influence he had on the 24-year-old singer s work by conducting a longsta
TROUBLED singer Amy Winehouse had her past family life exposed by dad Mitch in a TV show.
In One Life: Rock Star Parents, screened on BBC1 on Tuesday, Mitch Winehouse revealed what influence he had on the 24-year-old singer's work by conducting a longstanding affair.
Taxi driver Mr Winehouse, 57, from Waterstone Park, Greenhithe, began the relationship soon after his daughter was born.
When Miss Winehouse wrote the bitter song What It Is About Men, her father realised that the line: "All the s**t my mother went through," referred to his behaviour.
Mr Winehouse married Amy's mother Janis Seaton, now 53, in 1976. Their son Alex was born in 1980 and the famous singer in 1983.
But 18 months later Mitch became smitten with a colleague Jane, now 43, who was working with him in a double glazing firm.
The pair started an affair two years later which lasted 10 years until he left his family to move in with his mistress. They married in 1996.
Mitch Winehouse said: "The children used to call Jane 'Daddy's work wife'.
"I did not leave home until Amy was 10, so the situation occurred for another eight or nine years before I left home. It was difficult."
He said he thought at the time that Amy had forgiven his deception and coped with her parents splitting up.
He told programme makers: "I should have left sooner. There was not really a negative response from Amy, but she definitely became a lot more independent.
"Perhaps deep down she felt her parents were splitting up, she could not rely on them to stay together and that it was about time she learned to look after herself.
"I thought Amy was over it pretty quickly, in fact it felt at the time Amy felt no effect at all."
Miss Winehouse's spiral into drug use last year ended with doctors warning if she continued taking drugs she ran the risk of dying from seizures.
"She could die horribly," Mr Winehouse said. "That is not going to happen - that cannot happen."
Now reconciled with his daughter he added: "It is easy for me to say it is my fault, and that had I been a better parent this would not have happened. But who knows whether it would or not?