Whitney's New Year...

[From Fox 411]

Whitney and Bobby: No Fireworks on New Year's

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown not only spent Christmas apart as I told you last week but they also ushered in 2004 at a safe distance from each other. This meant, alas, no fireworks.

Brown stayed in Atlanta, where he partied up a storm at P. Diddy's Justin's restaurant. Houston remained at her Mendham, N.J., estate with family including daughter Bobbi Kristina and friends. She is trying to put together a lucrative mini-tour of concerts in Russia scheduled for early next month. The only problem, I am told, is that no one wants to be the tour manager. Go figure.

Brown's arraignment on domestic abuse charges is scheduled for Wednesday in Atlanta. The big question is whether Houston will be at his side, or wisely stay away. The thinking among friends is that for Whitney to have even called the police in the first place says a lot. "She's so private," a friend told me. "She wouldn't have done that unless she were at the breaking point."

Houston's Christmas album, by the way, has not been the slam-dunk hit it might have been. There was certainly a lack of marketing involved, but I'm sure Arista Records and Whitney's handlers were worried about a repeat of last year's publicity debacle. The public associates Houston with Brown, and Brown with jail, abuse and drugs. It's that simple. When Whitney finally acknowledges this, I do think she'll be in line for a huge comeback. Until then, her magnificent voice will remain overshadowed by controversy.
 

NEWSFILE: 5 JANUARY 2004

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