NEW YORK – Amy Winehouse’s father says the fight to get her off drugs often turned physical, as he tussled with the drug dealers and gangsters who were supplying his daughter with them.

“I spent my time fighting with drug dealers, and I mean proper fighting,” Mitch Winehouse said Tuesday. “And I’m a middle-aged man, who is overweight, having fistfights with people.”

Winehouse said his daughter finally budged once she saw how hurt her family was: “She witnessed all this stuff going on, of how her family and her friends were fighting gangsters and she decided she didn’t want to put her family in that position anymore.”

Amy Winehouse was found dead at her London home on July 23. Her father is launching The Amy Winehouse Foundation on Wednesday, which would’ve been the singer’s 28th birthday.

Mitch Winehouse said there were some negative influences in the group that surrounded Amy. He said he was naive about her drug use early on.

“I didn’t know the extent of her problem until maybe four months before she decided to quit,” he said.

Winehouse — who has been doing interviews and has appeared on TV to talk about the U.S. launch of the foundation — said talking about his daughter is “very hard,” but it “is helping us deal with our grief.”

From ‘tiger blood’ to … smelling the roses?

NEW YORK – Charlie Sheen says his life’s a lot calmer now.

The actor told NBC’s Matt Lauer that he didn’t really know what happened this spring when he was fired from the show and began a manic round of media appearances talking about his “tiger blood” and “winning.”

Lauer’s interview will air on the “Today” show on Friday.

The actor said he was sober but couldn’t tell Lauer the last time he took drugs or drank. He said he didn’t believe in keeping track of the sober time because “if you’re walking around hanging on to your time, it’s only a matter of time before it goes.”

Now he says he’s reconnecting with his five children and appreciating the quiet things in life.

Court: Dismiss lawsuit against ‘Bruno’ star

LOS ANGELES – A lawsuit accusing Sacha Baron Cohen of causing injuries to a woman during the filming of “Bruno” should be dismissed because the comedian was exercising his right to free speech when the mishap occurred, an appeals court has ruled.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal said Monday that the finding prevents Baron Cohen from being sued by the woman who tried to force him and his crew from an event being filmed.

Richelle Olson sued Baron Cohen in June 2009, claiming she fell and hit her head moments after struggling with the comedian and his crew as she ordered him to leave a charity bingo game. Her injuries were serious enough to require Olson to use a cane to walk, according to the lawsuit.

Olson initially allowed filming at the game in Lancaster, Calif., but ordered Baron Cohen to leave after he started equating the numbers with the homosexual relationships of his character in the film about a gay Austrian fashionista.

Jackson estate earning big

LOS ANGELES – Michael Jackson’s estate has generated more than $310 million in the two years since the pop singer died deeply in debt, enabling executors to distribute a preliminary payment of $30 million to Jackson’s mother and children, and to unnamed charities, according to recently filed court documents.

The executors, John Branca and John McClain, filed a detailed accounting of finances since Jackson’s death on June 25, 2009.