New York Daily News: In Oprah Winfrey interview, Whitney Houston says
her mother used police to get her to drug rehab
BY Gina Salamone
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, September 13th 2009, 4:00 AM
It took an ambush by a
desperate mother, with police in tow, to save Whitney Houston's life.
In her explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey, airing in two parts - Monday
and Tuesday - the 46-year-old singer reveals that at the height of her
drug-addiction problems, her mom, Cissy, arrived unannounced at her house
with armed deputies. She forced Whitney into rehab and vowed to sic the
authorities on then-husband Bobby Brown if he tried to stop it.
"She said, 'I'm not losing you to the world - I have a court injunction
here. You're either going to do it my way, or we're just not going to do
this at all,'" Houston told Winfrey at their pretaped meeting at Town Hall
Then Cissy gave her son-in-law an ultimatum. "[She] said, 'If you move,
Bobby, they're going to take you down.'"
Brown, frightened, backed off, long enough for Cissy to save her daughter
from a deadly spiral of addiction.
Houston entered rehab in 2004.
The Grammy winner's drug confession contradicts what she had told another TV
titan in 2002.
"I make too much money to smoke crack," she told Diane Sawyer. "Crack is
But in her interview with Winfrey, Houston does little to hide her dark
past. She claims her mother thought she was "losing her to Satan" and begged
her to retire.
"We're both going to go on TV, and you're going to retire," Houston's mother
demanded. "This is not worth it."
The inside look at the low points in the singer's life will air just two
weeks after "I Look To You" - her first album in six years - was released.
Debuting at the top of the Billboard charts, the album marks a big comeback
for the soul singer, even if it got off to a shaky start.
At a Sept. 1 performance in Central Park that aired on "Good Morning
America," Houston's voice cracked as she sang to the 5,000-strong crowd.
The diva blamed it on her talk with Winfrey, saying, "I'm so sorry. ... I
talked so much, my voice."
While some fans complained about her lack of firepower during the three-song
set, others, who came from as far away as Australia, were more forgiving.
"We missed you, Whitney!" one yelled. Another said, "She's been through so
much. ... She's been working very hard ... and she's been doing it well."
Houston rose to fame in 1985 when her self-titled first album, "Whitney
Houston," became the best-selling debut album by a female artist. It
included hits like "You Give Good Love," "Saving All My Love for You," "How
Will I Know" and "Greatest Love of All." It remains her best-selling studio
The album was followed by "Whitney" in 1987, which became the first album by
a woman ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts. She released
four more albums between then and 2003 and landed acting roles, including
her star turn in 1992's "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner.
But her personal life was falling apart. Houston married Brown in 1992, but
by the late '90s she began arriving late for interviews and rehearsals and
canceling concerts. Rumors of the couple's drug use swirled.
In 2000, Hawaiian airport security found marijuana in bags belonging to
Houston and Brown. In 2001, her publicist blamed her startling weight loss
Then there were reports of domestic violence.
The pair separated in 2006, and their divorce was finalized the next year.
Houston was granted custody of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, now 16.
Even more important than her career comeback, Houston says she's on the
right track with daughter Bobbi.
"She and I are not only mother and daughter, but we're good friends," the
singer tells Ebony in its October issue. "If she knows that I'm there for
her, she can depend on me. I'm the dependable one; she can depend on her
13 SEPTEMBER 2009