Whitney In Drugs Rehab...

Whitney Houston Enters Drug Rehab Center
Singer Thanks Fans For Support, Prayers

POSTED: 6:25 am PST March 16, 2004

Grammy-winning pop superstar Whitney Houston has finally admitted she has problem. The singer has entered rehab, while husband Bobby Brown is currently serving a jail sentence in Atlanta.

At 10:30 p.m. Monday, Whitney's publicist, Nancy Seltzer, released the news that Houston had entered an undisclosed drug rehabilitation center, and made a brief statement on Houston's behalf saying her client "thanks everyone for their support and prayers." Her publicist also said this is Whitney's first stint in rehab.

"Finally she's addressed it. She's taking care of it, and thank God," said Dick Clark, who's worked with Houston since she was a child.

Whitney's impromptu performance of "You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)" in December after Bobby turned himself in to face a battery charge against his wife was the last time we heard from her in the states. But Houston's last official performance was just last month over in Moscow.

Houston detailed her past drug problems to Diane Sawyer during an exclusive interview 15 months ago on ABC's "Primetime."

"I make too much money to smoke crack. Let's get that straight. Crack is whack," she told Sawyer. However, she did admit to using -- at times -- pills, marijuana and cocaine.

New York radio host Wendy Williams was not too surprised about the news.

"Honestly, I think Whitney was pushed kicking and screaming to rehab," said Williams.

Williams experienced some of Whitney's bizarre behavior first hand on her show when an interview with the superstar turned into a verbal assault of words.

"I believe age is a factor," added Williams. "She's too old to be strung out."

Music legend Dick Clark told Access Hollywood he tried to reach out at one point to the mega-talent.

"At one time along the way I spoke with Cissy, her mom, and said, 'What are we going to do to help this lady? She obviously needs help,'" revealed Clark. "And nobody knew what to do right at that moment -- couldn't discuss the issue."

Houston's husband Bobby is serving a 60-day sentence in Georgia for parole violations. But county officials said that despite his wife's situation, Bobby will not be released early. So the critical question is: Who's watching daughter Bobbi Cristina? Presently, it appears the child is with Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston.

"There's nobody in her camp that I would trust if I were her mother, so I think that Cissy is the best person to hold on to Bobby Christina while Whitney's getting cleaned up," Williams told Access.

Apparently, Whitney's drug problem goes back a lot further than anyone suspected.

Kevin Skinner, a former business partner of Whitney's father and former cocaine dealer, told "Dateline's" Hoda Kobe that he sold drugs to the singer.

When asked if he ever saw Whitney use drugs, Skinner said: "Yes, I have. Years ago, yes, we used to engage in a lot of activity with drugs."

The beginning of Whitney's legal trouble began in 2000 when security guards at at an airport in Hawaii said they found a half ounce of marijuana in her handbag. The misdemeanor charges were later dropped.

But the drug rumors began to swirl and in March of that year, she was kicked off the Oscar telecast, reportedly for being late and unprepared. Even friend and recovering addict Natalie Cole expressed concern.

"She needs to be saved," Cole told access.

Whitney then appeared almost emaciated on the Michael Jackson special in 2001, adding fuel to the speculation.

Vibe Magazine's Executive Editor Shani Saxon-Parrish felt that appearance confirmed suspicions of Whitney's substance abuse problem.

"After that, people really couldn't deny that there was a problem," Parrish told Access.

Parrish believes the Brown-Houston union is a dangerous mix.

"Nowadays, it's kind of hard to say who's influencing whom and who's causing the other to slip," she said.

Things continued to spiral downward in the fall of 2002 when Whitney's own father's management firm sued her in a still pending $100 million breach of contract suit.

And, of course, who could forget Whitney and Bobby's bizarre spiritual pilgrimage to the holy land where Whitney proudly proclaimed Israel was "my land!"

Stay tuned to Access Hollywood for the latest details on Whitney situation.



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