Whitney's Rehab Getaway...

[From E! Online]

Whitney's Rehab Getaway

by Josh Grossberg

Mar 24, 2004, 12:45 PM PT

First Bobby Brown gets sprung from jail. Now comes word that wife Whitney Houston has made a fast getaway of her own.

The New York Daily News is reporting that Houston has exited an Atlanta-area drug rehabilitation center just five days after checking herself in to deal with a substance abuse problem.

While Houston's publicist, Nancy Seltzer, was not available Wednesday to comment on the report, she is quoted in the Daily News saying nothing is amiss by Houston's hasty exit. "Miss Houston is continuing the prescribed treatment, as was planned," Seltzer told the newspaper. "Her movements are in total keeping with the program."

Seltzer declined to elaborate on Houston's out-patient status and also refused to reveal the whereabouts of the 40-year-old pop diva.

However, the Daily News quotes an unnamed source from the Houston camp saying the "I Get So Emotional" singer couldn't stand being cooped up in a facility and opted to work on getting clean in a rented location not far from her Atlanta home.

"Whitney got extremely upset and said she felt the walls were closing in on her," the source said.

Seltzer has refused to say exactly why Houston sought rehab, but Houston has copped to Diane Sawyer about abusing alcohol, cocaine, marijuana and pills and was infamously busted in 2000 at a Hawaiian airport for a small stash of pot (the charge was eventually dropped after a drug counselor's report said Houston didn't need treatment for substance abuse).

Appearing on CBS' The Early Show Tuesday morning, Houston's spiritual advisor, Prince Asiel Ben Israel, said the Grammy winner was hooked on pharmaceuticals, not street drugs.

"When you've got the demands of the press and the demands of your public, you're trying to take a pill to stay up and one to lay down," Ben Israel said. "I think it's that kind of lifestyle."

Ben Israel, who brought Houston and Brown to visit African Hebrew Israelites last year, said Houston was in denial for a long time about her problem but agreed to seek help at the urging of her family.

"I think that with the support from the family and friends, you come to grips with these kinds of things and finally say, 'There must be something I need to do,' I think that's where we are," he added.

While we can't say for sure where Whitney is, we definitely know one place she was not--Bobby's paternity hearing Wednesday in the suburban Boston town of Canton.

In fact, Brown, who was released from a Georgia jail Monday so he could attend the emergency court date, was nearly a no-show, too.

Brown, a Bean Town native, was due in Norfolk County Family Court at 9 a.m. ET for a contempt of court hearing. His onetime lover, Kim Ward, says Brown owes thousands of dollars in child support to their two children, a 14-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son. (Brown and Houston have an 11-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.)

But Brown didn't show up until 12:45 p.m., a move that ticked off Judge Paula Carey. The hearing is expected to stretch into the afternoon.

Brown, 35, had been serving a 60-day sentence in DeKalb County Jail for violating his probation on a drunken driving charge. He was granted release three days early to attend to the Massachusetts matter.

His docket is far from empty, though. Brown is due back in a Georgia courtroom on May 5 to answer to domestic battery charges after he allegedly hit Houston, leaving her with a cut lip and bruised cheek. Despite Whitney's pleas to authorities to let them work it out privately, Brown was charged.

During his TV appearance, Ben Israel defended the R&B star.

"At 20 years old, he was a millionaire and married an icon, a musical icon. That kind of pressure brought about another kind of mental and spiritual change," he said. "I think again with those of us who love, we're trying to work both of them through the social issues, which many couples who are high profile experience.

"You must remember, married to Whitney Houston, it's got to be great, but it's got to be a lot of pressure."




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