In the saga of Whitney Houston’s life, her one-time husband Bobby Brown is consistently portrayed as the doomed lover, the bad influence who corrupted the superstar with the drugs that precipitated her decline and eventually took her life. For more than a decade the pair became the self destructive Sid and Nancy of R&B, and their chemical-fueled exploits became fodder for tabloids and reality television. Fans and family alike have placed the blame on Brown’s shoulders, but now Whitney’s brother Michael Houston is coming forward with a stunning revelation that completely changes her story.
Michael and his mother Cissy Houston sat down for an in-depth interview with Oprah Winfrey recently to promote Cissy’s new memoir Remembering Whitney, in which she too paints Bobby as the root of her daughter’s troubles. The Houston matriarch even speculates that were it not for Bobby, she might still be alive today. “I do believe her life would have turned out differently,” she wrote in the book, “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.” She also discusses the discovery that her son Michael and Whitney would use drugs together.
But the bombshell came when Michael admitted to Oprah that it was he himself -and not Bobby Brown- who introduced his little sister Whitney to crack cocaine. “Everything we did together growing up, when I started [using] drugs we did that together too. It just got out of hand.” The two siblings were extremely close, even to the point where people thought they were twins! “We did everything together. So once I was into [drugs] she followed suit.”
He says that at the time, the danger of cocaine (and especially crack) wasn’t as widely well known as it is today. “You gotta understand at the time … the ’80s … it was acceptable.” But understandably, Michael feels haunted by these “demons” to this day. “It’s painful … I feel responsible for what I let go so far,” he says. “It’s something I have to live with for the rest of my life.”