Inner circle concern leads Houston to rehab
Though Houston's spokeswoman immediately denied the pregnancy story, once the entertainer returned home, several friends and family members "started watching Whitney even more closely than they have been," said the source. A surprise intervention by a half-dozen members of Houston's inner circle over this past weekend convinced Houston to enter an unnamed drug rehabilitation program early Monday.
Houston's publicist Nancy Selzer confirmed Houston's admittance to rehab but declined to identify the location of the clinic, only adding the singer "thanks everyone for their support and prayers."
Reports of serious drug use have plagued the superstar diva for some time now. Several years ago, allegations of bad behavior --blamed on drugs -- led Chicagoan Bill Farley, then CEO of Fruit of the Loom, to instruct his captain to boot Houston and her husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown, from his corporate yacht, which the couple had rented for a Mediterranean cruise. Houston and Brown had only been aboard for 24 hours.
During a widely publicized TV interview in 2002, Houston admitted past drug use to Diane Sawyer but said a spiritual advisor helped her lick drugs. "I'm beyond it. It's past. It's done," she said at that time.
Sawyer's line of questioning followed a series of canceled Houston appearances -- including the 2000 Academy Awards telecast -- plus concerns that Houston's extremely gaunt appearance was linked either to drug use or a terminal illness.
Also in 2000, Houston faced a misdemeanor drug charge after authorities at the Kona International Airport in Hawaii seized her handbag and allegedly found a small amount of marijuana. The charges were dropped in March 2001 after Houston passed a substance abuse assessment.
As Houston entered rehab, her daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 10, reportedly was being cared for by other family members. Brown, the child's father, is dealing with his own set of problems. In late February he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating probation. One of the violations includes a December misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly striking Houston, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut inside her lip.
The couple had recently been seeing a counselor to deal with their
17 MARCH 2004
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