Bing Search

Music News

Whitney Houston's mother has words for Bobby Brown
By HILLEL ITALIE , AP National Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Cissy Houston has a few words, and a few more, for Bobby Brown.

In "Remembering Whitney," the mother of the late Whitney Houston writes that from the start she had doubted whether Brown was right for her daughter. And she thinks that Whitney might not have ended up so "deep" into drugs had they not stayed together.

"I do believe her life would have turned out differently," Houston writes. "It would have been easier for her to get sober and stay sober. Instead she was with someone who, like her, wanted to party. To me, he never seemed to be a help to her in the way she needed."

"Remembering Whitney" came out Tuesday, two weeks short of the first anniversary of Houston's death. She drowned in a hotel bathtub in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 48. Authorities said her death was complicated by cocaine use and heart disease.

During a recent telephone interview, Houston said she has no contact with Brown and didn't see any reason to, not even concerning her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina. She reaffirmed her comments in the book that Whitney Houston would have been better off without him. "How would you like it if he had anything to do with your daughter?" she asked.

Houston said she wanted the book published so the world would not believe the worst about her daughter. Cissy Houston, herself an accomplished soul and gospel singer who has performed with Elvis Presley and Aretha Franklin, describes Whitney as a transcendent talent and vivacious and generous person known affectionately by her childhood nickname, "Nippy." But she acknowledges in the book that her daughter could be "mean" and "difficult" and questions at times how well she knew her.

"In my darkest moments, I wonder whether Nippy loved me," she writes. "She always told me she did. But you know, she didn't call me much. She didn't come see me as much as I hoped she would."

But, "almost always," Whitney Houston was "the sweetest, most loving person in the room."

Brown is portrayed as childish and impulsive, hot tempered and jealous of his wife's success. Cissy Houston describes a 1997 incident when Whitney sustained a "deep cut" on her face while on a yacht with Brown in the Mediterranean. Whitney insisted it was an accident; Brown had slammed his hand on a table, breaking a plate. A piece of china flew up and hit Whitney, requiring surgery to cover any possible scar.

The injury was minor, the effects possibly fateful.

"She seemed sadder after that, like something had been taken away from her," Houston writes.

For years, Whitney's drug problems had been only a rumor to her mother, who writes that concerns expressed by record executive Clive Davis were kept from her by her daughter and others. But by 2005 she had seen the worst. Houston remembers a horrifying visit to the Atlanta home of Brown and Houston, where the walls and doors were spray-painted with "big glaring eyes and strange faces." Whitney's face had been cut out from a framed family picture, an image Cissy Houston found "beyond disturbing." The next time Houston came to the house, she was joined by two sheriff's deputies who helped her take Whitney to the hospital.

"She was so angry at me, cursing me and up and down," she writes. "Eventually, after a good long while, Nippy did stop being angry at me. She realized that I did what I did to protect her, and she later told people that I had saved her life."

Brown and Whitney Houston divorced in 2007, after 15 years of marriage. When she learned that her daughter was leaving Brown, Cissy Houston was "extremely relieved" and "thanking God so much I'm sure nobody else could get a prayer in to Him."

Houston has no doubt that if Whitney were alive she would still be singing and making records. Houston said during her interview that she has seen "Sparkle," a remake of the 1970s movie that came out last summer and featured Whitney as the mother of a singing group struggling with addiction. Although Cissy Houston doesn't like movies about "drugs and all that kind of stuff," she was impressed by "Sparkle."

"I thought she was great in it and all the kids were great," says Houston, who adds that the "whole movie was hard to get through."

The book, too, was painful and her grief continues. She writes that sometimes she hears a doorbell ring and thinks it's Whitney, or sees a vase in a different place and wonders if her daughter is around. Some nights, Cissy Houston wakes up crying, not sure at first where she is.

"But then I get up out of bed, wipe my eyes, wash my face, and lie back down to my sleep. Because that is all I can do," she writes. "I am so grateful to God for giving me the gift of 48 years with my daughter. And I accept that He knew when it was time to take her."

Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Jan 29, 2013 7:31AM
It really is time to stop blaming Bobby Brown for Whitney's demise. Of course, Whitney (as a user) would have been drawn to someone such as Bobby Brown who was also a user. If not him, she would have hooked up with someone else just like him. I would imagine that it is difficult for her mother to not place blame. It's natural.  But, anyone who personally knows an addict, knows that this played out the way that it did because of Whitney's choices in life. 
Jan 28, 2013 10:19PM
Each time I saw footage of them at some event years ago , she usually had the smile and he seemed to almost hate how well she did or how well she'd be recieved . Even if she would have never  admitted that he was jealous of her sucess on TV , you could see it . That alone would have done them in . Thats all I saw and know  on this honestly but I do know how sad it was for so many to witness her downward spiral . Such an Amazing Talent ! 
Jan 28, 2013 6:18PM
It is time to stop blaming Bobby Brown for the downfall of Whitney.  As a recovered addict, the one thing that was crucial in my early stages of recovery, that has helped me to remain clean and sober for 24 years now was accepting the fact that at the end of the day, no matter what, who, when, where, or why....I was ultimately responsible for my addiction.  Sure ther were those who played roles in that addiction, but I chose to do drugs.  And by the same token, Bobby Brown represented the part of her addiction that was visible.  She was obviously an addict, but her involvement with another addict, only brought to surface what was already there.  As far as her ability to not get and stay clean due to her involvent with Mr. Brown...It would take understanding addiction to  know that because her involvement with Mr. Brown was only a symptom, and not the cause, she would not have stayed clean regardless of when they parted ways.  that is obvious by the fact that she continued to use long after their split.  It just seems to me that Mom Houston's healing from all of this will come when she gets her focus off of who was at fault for Whitneys addiction, and begin to accept her daughters addiction and demise for what is was, grieve about it, and when it is time move on.  RIP Whitney.
Jan 28, 2013 6:12PM

Whitney's mother is always blaming Bobby.  Whitney was using before she met Bobbie, she chose Bobby, she chose to stay with Bobby for 15 years and she was a partyer/drug abuser just like him.  That's why she stayed with him for 15 years.

Jan 28, 2013 5:26PM
WH became a mean, arrogant beyotch after hooking up w/ BB. Such a shame!
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
more on msn music
Miranda Lambert/Pharrell Williams/Janelle Monae
See highlights from this summers' biggest current tours and festivals
Ed Sheeran: From touring with Taylor to a single with Pharrell, British troubadour navigates to pop's mainstream
Most memorable BET moments: Check out six highlights from the 2014 awards' nearly four hour event
Courtney on Kurt: His widow and Hole front woman reveals Cobain was "desperate" to achieve rock stardom
Prince reigns: The funk-rock-pop wizard reveals another full-length set ready to roll out for fans