The British soul singer, who would have been 38 on Sept. 14, left behind millions when she died in 2011. The 27-year-old didn’t have a will, but probate documents directed her estate of £2.94 million (then worth $4.66 million) to her parents, according to CBS News.
Winehouse’s ex-husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, got nothing from her estate. By 2019, he apparently wanted in on the money.
Fielder-Civil reportedly demanded £1 million from Winehouse’s estate.
According to The Sun, Fielder-Civil—who was married to Winehouse from 2007 to 2009—was pursuing a legal claim on her estate as of 2019. He was demanding £1 million, now worth $1.38 million. Fielder-Civil told Winehouse’s family that his lawyers said he was entitled to the money because he was with her when she was releasing her best-selling music.
The family’s response? “He deserves nothing,” they said, according to The Sun.
Upon Winehouse and Fielder-Civil’s divorce, the singer gave him £250,000 (now worth about $346,000), the newspaper reported. His claim to more money in 2019 depended on whether that divorce payoff represented a “clean break,” according to Frank Arndt, a senior partner at Paradigm Family Law.
“If there wasn’t a ‘clean break’ there is a case that could be pursued,” Arndt told The Sun. “His team will possibly say he needs the money for a house, something that he needs, and that there is money in the estate.”
There hasn’t been a widely-publicized update on Fielder-Civil’s claim, but he also clashed with Winehouse’s family about their plans for an Amy Winehouse hologram tour.
“The idea that it’s anything remotely like Amy, to me, is kind of misleading,” he said of the hologram idea on Good Morning Britain in 2018. “It’s old footage. It can’t be anything new. It’s not going to have the same interactions that Amy had. … There would be no human element.”
Universal Music Group owns the music rights for Winehouse’s work.
This July, Winehouse returned to Billboard charts a decade after her death with the Republic Records release Remixes, an album of her hits remixed as dance tracks. As Forbes reports, Republic Records is a subsidiary of Universal Music Group, which owns the rights to Winehouse’s music.
In 2015, Universal Music U.K. chairman and CEO David Joseph revealed he had destroyed Winehouse’s demo recordings to keep them from ever being released. “It was a moral thing,” he told Billboard. “Taking a stem or a vocal is not something that would ever happen on my watch. It now can’t happen on anyone else’s.”
Nearly three years later, composer Gil Cang posted a previously-unreleased Winehouse demo called “My Own Way,” which he wrote with James McMillan, on YouTube, according to NPR. In the post, Cang wrote that the song, which has since been made private on YouTube, was one they “love and want the world to be able to hear,” according to NPR.