Whitney's Rehab Getaway...
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
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
"You must remember, married to Whitney Houston, it's got to be great, but
it's got to be a lot of pressure."
24 MARCH 2004