Amy Winehouse's ex-husband files $1.4 million legal claim on late singer's estate

(Fox News) Amy Winehouse has been dead for over eight years, but that isn't stopping her shameless ex-husband from making a $1.4 million legal claim on her estate.

Not surprisingly, Amy’s family is furious and blasted junkie ex-husband Blake Fielder-Civil’s attempt to grab the late singer’s money. They say: “He deserves nothing.” Fielder-Civil, 37, who has admitted introducing the bluesy pop star to heroin, is demanding a lump sum payout as well as a monthly allowance.

A source close to the family, who now face a court battle with Fielder-Civil, said: “This is someone who spent a lot of Amy’s money during their time together. He also and spent a lot of their marriage in prison, bringing nothing but pain to everyone. To give him another penny would be too much. To say that it would be inappropriate for him to benefit from her estate would be an understatement.”

Amy, who died aged 27 of alcohol poisoning on July, 23 2011, did not leave a will. Her after-tax assets of $3.64 million went to her mum Janis, 63, and dad Mitch, 68. Since her death the value of her estate is believed to have grown considerably from song royalties.

Fielder-Civil has told Amy’s family his lawyers say he has a valid claim because he was with her for six years during which she released some of her best-selling material. The claim comes just days after the eighth anniversary of her death.

The source said: “Amy’s family are obviously upset about this – particularly as it has come at such a sensitive time.” While another source added, “Blake is an utter scumbag. It is unbelievable that he is trying to tap into her estate and make a claim for money. “Janis, in particular, is very upset about this.”

Fielder-Civil and Amy were married for two years, divorcing in July 2009. She gave him a $309,000 payoff. But lawyers say the details of that settlement will be the key factor in Fielder-Civil’s legal claim. If the payment was specified as a “clean-break” then he has no real grounds for demanding more money. If not, he may have a case.

Frank Arndt, senior partner at Paradigm Family Law, said: “If there wasn’t a ‘clean break’ there is a case that could be pursued. “His team will possibly say he needs the money for a house, something that he needs and that there is money in the estate.”

Fielder-Civil lives in a pokey seventh-floor flat on a crime-ridden council estate in Leeds. The windows of a ground-floor flat in the tower block are boarded up and an old, discarded door is propped up against the wall. In the foyer, security cameras monitor residents and visitors 24 hours a day.

Amy was hailed as one of the world’s most talented young songwriters in the wake of her debut album Frank in 2003. Three years later, follow-up Back to Black won five Grammy and turned her into a global superstar. But she spiraled into drug and alcohol addiction, with many fans blaming hard-partying Fielder-Civil. He was accused of being a parasite, living off Amy’s fortune and making her move into a millionaire’s mansion in Camden, North London.

Fielder-Civil, the inspiration for her heartbreaking hit single Back to Black, was in prison from July 2008 to February 2009 after admitting perverting the course of justice and GBH. He was given nothing after Amy’s death. It is not believed he requested any money.

In a 2013 interview, Fielder-Civil said he regretted introducing Amy to heroin, saying, “I’d taken it about three or four times. We were in a hotel in east London and I think I had about $13 of heroin with me, which is something I used to do after a club. I was smoking it on foil and she said ‘Can I try some?’ I think I might have put up a weak resistance, the fact is whatever I said she did end up having some. We were using it once a week for about two to three weeks, to then twice a week and then it gradually built up like that. We smoked, she never injected it.”

On Tuesday fans marked the eighth anniversary of Amy’s death. The 2011 tragedy triggered a surge in her popularity — with music fans buying 1.7 million Amy albums in the first year after her death.

Mitch and Janis set up the Amy Winehouse Foundation to help young musicians and people with addiction problems. A 2015 documentary Amy explored her life. Former black cab driver Mitch also released a book entitled "Amy, My Daughter." The family have signed a deal to make a biopic about her life, with proceeds going to the foundation.

Her friends and family are furious that any successful claim by Fielder-Civil could take money from the charity. Latest accounts for the foundation show it spent nearly $1 million on good causes in a year. That included $562,000 for the Amy Winehouse Resilience program which aids 11-18 year-olds with drug and alcohol problems. Last year, Amy’s family also revealed plans for a tour featuring a hologram of Amy — which have now been shelved.

Mitch, speaking about the proposed biopic, said: “What we want is somebody to portray Amy in the way that she was — the funny, brilliant, charming and horrible person that she was. There’s no point really me making the film because I’m her dad. But to get the right people to do it, that’s very important — and we will.”

Fielder-Civil, who describes himself as an actor, blasted the tour plan — and seemed to accuse the family of cashing in on her memory. Appearing on "Good Morning Britain," Fielder-Civil said: “It’s old footage, it can’t be anything new. It can’t have the same interaction to Amy, it can’t be the same. I’m a bit concerned ... there would be no human element to it. I object to every opportunity that has been made. It seems since Amy passed away seven years ago there have been films, one in the making and a hologram tour. I can’t see many other reasons for this tour.” Fielder-Civil, whose damaged teeth and dishevelled appearance shocked viewers, also played down his role in Amy’s drug problems.

He said: “The drug thing is something that has been attributed to me for years. The fact, me and Amy only used drugs together for six months of our marriage. That was it. Before that Amy didn’t use drugs, she smoked cannabis, I did heroin maybe four or five times.”

Yesterday Fielder-Civil refused to comment as he left his home.


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