Amy Winehouse‘s father Mitch Winehouse said he went “numb” the moment he was told his 27-year-old daughter had died.
Mitch, 60, had just arrived in New York City July 24 when he got a call from Amy’s security guard informing him of the tragic news.
“I was in New York when I found out,” Mitch told The Sun. “I was at my cousin’s [home,] cuddling his newborn babies. He had just been asking me how Amy was. I said she was fine — then my phone rang.
“It was Andrew, her security guard, in tears. He said something terrible had happened. Amy had died. I couldn’t understand him at first. I was like ice. I was cool as a cucumber. I told him to tell me again … I was in a terrible state of shock. I was just sitting there.”
After hearing of Amy’s death, Mitch flew straight back home to the UK and he spent the entire flight in a state of total shock that his daughter was gone.
He explained: “I was just sitting there. The flight home was horrendous. In my mind, I was saying, ‘Stop messing about, Amy.’ She was a practical joker, and I just hoped everyone had it wrong– even though I knew it was right.
“It was horrible. I couldn’t cry. I wasn’t able to do anything. I was just numb.”
Mitch said he believes Amy — who had famously struggled with alcohol and drug abuse — passed away from a seizure related to her alcohol detoxification.
Mitch, who separated from Amy’s mother, Janis, when she was young, said he still can’t watch videos of them together.
“I broke down when I saw some clips of us together on TV,” he told the paper. “But I want to remember everything about her. The good times and the bad times. I don’t want to forget anything.”
Amy’s cause of death has not yet been determined, although a toxicology report has ruled that drugs and alcohol did not contribute to her passing.
In memory of his daughter, Mitch is launching the Amy Winehouse Foundation, which will help young people suffering from addiction problems.
The Winehouse family will appear on the premiere of Anderson Cooper’s new talk show Anderson on Monday.