Fans of Amy Winehouse traditionally make husband Blake Civil-Fielder the villain in the story of the late singer. Their tumultuous marriage only lasted between 2007 and 2009, but many continue to paint him as a negative influence who enabled her addictive traits and introduced her to lethal substances that ultimately led to her death at age 27 in July 2011. But in a rare television interview on Tuesday, Civil-Fielder defended himself, denying the popular myth that they shared a codependent relationship based on substance abuse.
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“This is something that needs to be addressed. In the six or seven years that me and Amy were together … we had one break for a while, we had one argument that was in the press,” the 36-year-old said during an interview on Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. “The drug thing is something that’s been attributed to me for years. The fact is that me and Amy only used drugs together maybe six months of our marriage. That was it. And before that, Amy didn’t use drugs. She smoked cannabis, [and] I did heroin maybe four or five times.”
He credits the media for helping perpetuate the narrative that he is responsible for Winehouse’s tragic end. “I feel I am the only person that’s taken responsibility and has done since she was alive,” he explains. “I feel that maybe since the last film about Amy came out about two years ago; the documentary, there’s been a certain shift in the blame to other parties. But before that, pre that — and probably still now — I’m the only person that’s taken any responsibility. People don’t realize Amy didn’t do anything Amy didn’t want to do.”
Even so, he admits that he has regrets over how he behaved during their time together a decade ago. “I’ll always carry a burden of guilt because I should have acted.”
After meeting in 2005, the pair has endured a rocky on-and-off relationship. It was during one stretch apart that Winehouse penned most of the songs that would end up on her breakthrough album, 2006’s Back to Black. They rekindled their relationship as the album was completed, and eventually wed in a brief Miami ceremony on May 18, 2007.
Despite the happy occasion, their relationship was fraught. “If he says one thing I don’t like, then I’ll chin him,” Winehouse herself said not long after their wedding. Though intended as a joke, images of the pair walking bruised and bloody through the London streets made headlines that summer, and the media scrutiny intensified after a video of the pair apparently smoking crack went public.
Civil-Fielder was sentenced to 27 months in prison in July 2008 on charges of trying to pervert the course of justice and of grievous bodily harm with intent. Their relationship was unable to withstand his incarceration.
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Though they divorced in the summer of 2009, Civil-Fielder says that the love they shared never truly died — even withstanding her own death.
“We’d spoken quite recently before she passed away, [and] she mentioned that our relationship was always going to be there. I knew that,” he continued on Good Morning Britain. “I think my [current] partner made peace with the fact that if Amy was still here … I don’t know what would happen. Anyone that’s gone through bereavement probably feels the same thing.”
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