Aisleyne Horgan-Wallace reflects on final phone call with Amy Winehouse before her death

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I couldn’t get my head around the fact that Amy Winehouse wanted to meet me. I’m not Madonna, I’m just a normal girl who went on Big Brother, while she had this extreme amount of talent. But she kept telling mutual friends and my PR company that she did. I think she just found me amusing from the clips she’d seen and what she’d heard about me.

One night in 2008, our mutual friend was on the phone to her and I was being my usual loud and obnoxious self in the background. I was extra confident because I was drunk, so I chatted on the phone to her and she asked me to go round to her flat.

It felt like the meeting of all meetings, and we spent all night talking about everything and anything. People love or hate me, and she chose to love me. At the end of the night when I was going home, she pulled me away and asked for my number. It was like we’d just had the cutest mate date. The girl who introduced us said, “I’ve never seen her like that with anyone before.”

Aisleyne was initially surprised Amy wanted to meet her
Aisleyne was initially surprised that Amy wanted to meet her before they became good friends
(Image: Getty Images Europe)

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Amy was kind, gentle and strong. I remember once someone was rude to a waiter, and she told them, “That’s not nice. Don’t talk to them like that.” She was unafraid to call people out, and thought all human beings should be treated with the same respect. She didn’t buy into being a star.

When friends sold stories to the newspapers on her she wouldn’t get mad, she’d say, “Well, they have bills to pay.” She was the most understanding person, although I think it meant she sometimes got taken advantage of.

I learnt a lot from hanging around with her – I thought, if she doesn’t care about people selling stories, then why should I? She put things into perspective. I was very black and white before I met her, but she showed me that there are two sides and things are rarely simple.

The singer was only 27 when she died
The singer was only 27 when she died in 2011
(Image: Getty Images)

I was very protective of her, and felt like her big sister sometimes. I think a lot of people around her thought I could be the saviour, but in the end, I wasn’t able to do it. All you can do is love someone and try to guide them, but at the end of the day people are going to live their lives.

I had a lot of pain in my life and I will self-medicate with alcohol to numb the pain, so I recognise that in other people like Amy. She was a good girl with a big heart who just made some wrong decisions. When she got clean, I was over the moon, proud and so hopeful for a different future.

On our final phone call, I was filming in Ireland and she was in London. I hadn’t spoken to her for a fortnight, but it was quite a short chat as I was working. I told her, “I love you and I’ll see you very soon.” She died the next day. It was such a shock when we lost her.

Fans laid flowers at her Camden home in 2011
Fans laid flowers at her Camden home in 2011 following her tragic death
(Image: Getty Images)

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Grief is hard, but I’m at a stage now where I can talk about the times we shared together and who she was. Around the anniversary of her death, I like to be with my own thoughts and have a glass of Coke in her honour. It was Amy’s favourite drink, but not mine, so I only have it once a year. I’m still in touch with our mutual friends and we all go out of our way to support each other, but we’re all on our own journeys with it. Anybody who had Amy in their lives will always be a little broken, but we’re also happy that we got to know her.

If I could have one more conversation with her, I’d say, “I hope you’re there drinking your Earl Grey tea with my mum, still causing a riot and singing to people. You’re probably winning them over with your charm and your wit. I know you’re at peace now and there’s no more pain and suffering. I’ll see you soon, but not too soon.”

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If she’d have lived I know she’d have liked to become a mum. When she was sober she was very motherly and funny – she was the best of the best. She was always happiest being at home. I remember one birthday we were all waiting for her at a bar in Soho and she didn’t turn up. I went to a local shop, brought some food and went back to hers and made her spaghetti Bolognese. We ate and chatted about silly things. She was chuffed with that because she didn’t like hype or attention. She loved just sitting on her sofa and watching Countdown. She’d even watch it at the end of a night out and she’d be making the long words, because she’d always been a bright girl.

I miss her for many reasons, including her cups of tea. She was the best tea maker in the world. Nobody made a mug quite like her, and never will.





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