From the archive, originally posted by: [ spectre ]

THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL
http://harpers.org/HisPrerogative.html


photos from auto-biography

His Prerogative
August 22, 2006

From Diary of a Lost Girl: The Autobiography of Kola Boof, published
last February by Door of Kush Books. Boof has written for the NBC
daytime drama Days of Our Lives. In 2003, when she was interviewed on
Fox News by Rita Cosby, the network reported that Boof had lived for
several months in 1996 on an estate in Morocco with Osama bin Laden.

“People are animals. They fuck, pray, and make bombs. The Dinka women
of Sudan say the devil is the most beautiful man you will ever lay your
eyes on. I never took these words seriously until I encountered my now
infamous ex-lover, Osama bin Laden.

Soon after installing me in his estate in Marrakesh, Osama started to
abuse me. His hand would be resting on my hair, his eyes glued to the
pages of his Muhammad Qutub books while I read Galway Kinnell. We would
be lying there in bed and he’d say, “African women are only good for
a man’s lower pleasures. What need do you have for a womb?” I would
feel insulted-not just to the heart, but to the soul. Then I’d go
back to Galway Kinnell’s bone-white stanzas-only I wouldn’t be able
to make out the words for the tears in my eyes.

He would humiliate me by making me dance naked. It was such a strange
thing, because for the most part he believed music was evil. If a guest
at the estate played music, he would cover his ears until the
“poison” was silenced. But other times he would become this devout
party boy who wanted to hear Van Halen or some B-52’s. To this day I
hear the song “Rock Lobster” in my sleep. I would be jerking around
like a white girl-“Dance like a Caucasoid girl!” he would
say-and his eyes would track me from one side of the terrace to the
other. “Your ass is too big, show me the front,” he said. Osama,
you understand, did not know the difference between being vicious and
being tender.

The first night I met him, at a restaurant, I ran out the door, gripped
by terror, and drove home. Relieved that his henchmen hadn’t followed
me, I ran a bath, lounged in the cold bathwater, then changed into a
flowing silk robe. There was a bang on the door, and I could hear
shouting: “Hey, black girl!” When I opened the door, there was
Osama bin Laden and his seven-man posse. A cold bolt of lightning went
through me.

But Osama was trying to be charming, despite the fear in my eyes.
“Why did you run? I just think you’re lovely and I find you
intriguing. I wanted to be your friend.” I can’t deny what a
good-looking man he was-over six feet with a zesty salmon-orange
complexion and very sexy Negro-like facial features, forged by
generations of desert sun. I remember thinking he had the most
beautiful lips and being overwhelmed by the largeness of his hand when
he took mine (to kiss it). Osama’s men laughed, and Osama’s eyes kept
falling on my cleavage. I knew no matter how many Barbara Stanwyck
movies I had devoured as a teen, I was powerless, and men can be
merciless when women have no power.

“From now on you may see no man but me,” he said. I wanted to throw
up.

* * *

He stepped into my room and told his men to wait outside. We were chest
to chest, his eyes looking down at me as he closed the door behind him.
A hundred ideas went through my head. Maybe I should get on my knees
and beg for mercy, but that was too wimpy. At last, I thought my only
escape from death was to seduce him. He wanted to fuck me: that was the
only good card in the deck. So I stretched up and kissed Osama very
softly on the mouth. I undid my robe and let it slip down to the floor.

“Put your clothing back on,” he told me. “I don’t want to see
this acting. I want to see the real you. Serve me something to eat.”

I made a pot of tea and served him chunky crab salad on pita crackers
and thickened tofu with dates in it. His lust was thick. He smoked a
little marijuana from a gold hookah, sipping his tea and instructing me
that I was always to keep hot tea for his “kif-canbo,” to ease the
burn in his chest.

“Why do you wear your hair braided?” he asked.

“Because my braids are beautiful,” I replied.

Osama said only monkeys braid their hair. He told me that the singer
Whitney Houston was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and that
she never wore her hair braided. “I want you to fix your hair like
hers from now on,” he said. “I can’t put my fingers through it when
it’s braided.”

He asked me to hit the hookah, but I explained to him that I had a weak
system and couldn’t handle drugs. Luckily, he didn’t insist. He talked
about America. He laughed and rambled on about his favorite TV shows:
The Wonder Years, Miami Vice, and MacGyver. He said the U.S. government
was made up of “fanatical crusaders” and that he’d once worked as a
mind reader and trained secret agents for the CIA. He even said that
he’d had a white, blonde girlfriend back in some state I’d never heard
of. He talked about his mother, describing her as something of a
feminist. I was bored, but I listened.

Osama kept coming back to Whitney Houston. He asked if I knew her
personally when I lived in America. I told him I didn’t. He said that
he had a paramount desire for Whitney Houston, and although he claimed
music was evil, he spoke of someday spending vast amounts of money to
go to America and try to arrange a meeting with the superstar. It
didn’t seem impossible to me. He said he wanted to give Whitney Houston
a mansion that he owned in a suburb of Khartoum. He explained to me
that to possess Whitney he would be willing to break his color rule and
make her one of his wives. I tried to hide my outrage at his racist
remarks, but it would come to pass that for the entire time that I
would be trapped in his palm, Whitney Houston’s was the one name that
would be mentioned constantly. How beautiful she is, what a nice smile
she has, how truly Islamic she is but is just brainwashed by American
culture and her husband-Bobby Brown, whom Osama talked about having
killed, as if it were normal to have women’s husbands killed. In his
briefcase I would come across photographs of the star, as well as
copies of Playboy, but nobody in the West believes me when I tell them
this. It’s like they have this totally bogus image of Osama bin Laden.
Anyway, it would soon come to the point where I was sick of hearing
Whitney Houston’s name.

Later, after he came back from the bathroom, Osama smoked some more
marijuana and talked about his children. He said that he’d missed an
appointment with his “doctor”-Ayman al-Zawahiri-just to do me.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON LOOKING ‘TRULY ISLAMIC’ (PRE-“CRACK IS FOR POOR PEOPLE”)

Original Release Date: January 1, 1985
Label: Arista

http://www.kolaboof.com/feast.htm
http://www.kolaboof.com/dangerous.htm

http://www.kolaboof.com/remix.htm

“I was a big MC Lyte fan…I loved Eric B. and Rakim, Tupac Shakur,
K.R.S. One…I wanted to look like IMAN, she was my hero…I got in a
fight once because I thought Grace Jones was prettier than Mariah
Carey, I still do…my favorite movie actor is Samuel L. Jackson, no
Denzel Washington-no Samuel!…”E.T.” is my favorite movie of all
time…people rave about what a good cook I am, I love to cook…I love
American chitlins (chitterlings). On the Nile River, we used to fry
them with hot peppers, honey and tomatoes. I love seafood and
watermelon. Lobster is my favorite food. I make my own ice cream and I
make wine. I always hated B.E.T., I still do…I loved movies by
Ousmane Sembene and Spike Lee. I’m a notorious fan of 1920’s silent
films and talkies from the 1930’s. My dream was to be a housewife
married to Larenz Tate (Menace to Society). I hated being tall, because
I was taller than all the boys I liked. I used to hate my chest, they
were so tiny…but they got big and fat once I started getting
pregnant.”

–Kola Boof

BOBBY BROWN CONSPICUOUSLY NOT IN HIDING

BOBBY
http://youtube.com/watch?v=GGUbd3bbdmE

WHITNEY
http://youtube.com/watch?v=ldXjOAMBjV0

THE BROADCAST, PERHAPS, THAT LAUNCHED ONE THOUSAND SHIPS
http://youtube.com/watch?v=3zr0ojwtplc

OTHERS WHO LIKE WHITNEY TOO
http://youtube.com/watch?v=tbkledi3bAE
http://youtube.com/watch?v=LMAHstZ565w
http://youtube.com/watch?v=tb8RkXt59ec

TAKING ITS TOLL
http://www.whitney-fan.com/nr/tv/015.shtml

“First of all, let’s get one thing straight, crack is cheap. I make too
much money to ever smoke crack.”

TRANSCRIPT FROM ABC PRIMETIME LIVE WITH WHITNEY HOUSTON

DIANE SAWYER, ABC NEWS
(Voice Over) A very special “Primetime.” Whitney Houston, speaking out
at last.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) I’m going to show you the picture.

WHITNEY HOUSTON, SINGER
Oh, yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) That anorexia, bulimia, that it’s because of drugs?

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED) (Voice Over) Her fans were frightened for her
life. Tonight, the rumors, the accusations, no question off limits.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) Is it alcohol? Is it marijuana? Is it cocaine? Is it
pills? All?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah, I’ll grant you, I partied.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Whitney dying. Crack rehab fails.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
First of all, let’s get one thing straight, crack is cheap. I make too
much money to ever smoke crack.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) She is perhaps the greatest voice of her generation.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) Back with her first original album in four years. Where
has she been? What about the cancellations? And her turbulent marriage
to singer Bobby Brown? He talks.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) Have you ever hit her?

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) And so does she.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) And this is forever.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
That’s what I said. Didn’t you?

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Tonight, Whitney Houston, on everything from the early
days to her father’s $100 million lawsuit against his daughter. A
“Primetime” exclusive, one night only. Whitney Houston as you’ve never
seen her before.

ANNOUNCER

>From ABC News, this is a special edition of “Primetime,” with Diane

Sawyer and Charles Gibson. Tonight, Whitney Houston. Now, from Times
Square in New York, Diane Sawyer.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Good evening. Charlie’s off tonight, as we welcome you to
this special edition of “Primetime,” a “Primetime” exclusive. Whitney
Houston at last. After years now of rumors and silence on her part,
she’s going to talk about the cancellations, erratic behavior, her
explosive marriage, and the headlines that she was near death because
of drug use, or partying, as she calls it. And after all, for nearly 20
years, the girl with the voice on fire has fascinated us. Her 170
million records sold, six Grammys, two Emmys. Recently, her hit “I Will
Always Love You” voted the top love song of all time. Well, now she has
her first original album in four years hitting the stores next week.
And so, tonight, we traveled to her new home in Atlanta. She’s just
moving in. Where Whitney Houston not only shows up, but opens up about
it all.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) Even if you couldn’t see her, the voice alone could stop
your heart.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) And then open your eyes.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) Whitney Houston, the beautiful girl who doesn’t just sing
the ballads, but tear them from her soul.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Voice Over) For half her lifetime, she’s been at the scalding center
of the spotlight. Intense, complicated, edgy, and then, in recent
years, with a series of high profile cancellations, it looked as if she
might also be losing control. The last time most of us saw her, the
Michael Jackson concert. We gasped at the skeletal frame that walked on
to the stage. And the woman who seemed to sing to us from the doorway
to death. So when we arrived for the interview, we didn’t know what
we’d find. We were told she was suffering from laryngitis because she’d
been traveling, just back from Los Angeles. But like everyone else,
most of all, we wondered how frail she would look when she walked in
the room.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) You know that as we sit here and talk . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Everybody watching this . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Is going to be staring at you, physically.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And they’re going to be saying, how thin is she now?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) How, how many bones can we see? Is she sick? And how sick
is she?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I’m not sick, Diane. I am not sick. Let’s get that straight. I’m not
sick. Okay? I’ve always been a thin girl. I’m not going to be fat,
ever. Let’s get that straight. Whitney is not going to be fat, ever.
Okay?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) The Michael Jackson VH-1 appearance. I’m going to show you
the picture.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Well, that’s a bad shot.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Well, it may be a bad shot, but this is real. I mean, the,
the bones. That’s real.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah, my bones, yeah. I’m, I’m 5’7″ and thin. I can understand what you
mean.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But that’s not just thin.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No? What is it, Diane, tell me. Do you know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) It’s scary thin.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I can believe what you, what you feel. I can believe that. But do you
really know? Do you really know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) No, you know.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Thank you.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Anorexia?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No way.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) They’ve written it.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No way.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Bulimia.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No way.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) That it’s because of drugs.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. Mm mm. Now, I’ll grant you, I partied. But there were times when I
know I was going through a lot of emotional stress and my eating habits
were awful.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Whitney dying, crack rehab fails.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
First of all, let’s get one thing straight. Crack is cheap. I make too
much money to ever smoke crack. Let’s get that straight. Okay? We don’t
do crack. We don’t do that. Crack is whack.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Which raises the question, what drugs has she done and how
deep did they take her? Later on in this hour, we’ll have a long
conversation about drug use. And the path that brought her here, nearly
40 years after she was born to the sound of music in Newark, New
Jersey. Houston’s mother is gospel and blues great Cissy Houston, who
was also the choir minister at New Hope Baptist Church, where the
congregation was the first to hear the little girl with the great big
gift.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Could you see the reaction on everybody’s faces when you
sang?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
You know what I used to do, Diane? I would close my eyes like this, and
I’d sing. I was so afraid when I’d sing. Then when I would open my
eyes, the people would be what we call Holy Ghost fired out. They would
be in such, spirit of praise, I think I knew then that it was an
infectious thing that God had given me.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) By the age of 17, Houston was auditioning for studios,
when the powerful head of Arista, Clive Davis, heard her singing at a
nightclub, and became the controlling force in her life, choosing her
music, crafting her image, and giving her the confidence that made her
a star. In 1983, her appearance on “The Merv Griffin Show” would change
her life. And she was only 19.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I’ll never forget. I sang “Home,” the song “Home.”

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And soon, she became the biggest-selling debut female
debut artist in history.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) At 21, got her first Grammy award. Her mom beams and the
presenter is none other than her famous cousin, Dionne Warwick.

DIONNE WARWICK, SINGER
Whitney Houston.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And the girl with the voice on fire still loves to sing,
this is from her new album.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) She says somewhere along the way, the thousands and
thousands of appearances around the world began to take their toll.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) While most musicians cancel some of the time, hers always
make headlines. She says sometimes it happens because of her fear of
disappointing her fans, who always expect a perfect voice. Then there’s
her emotional reaction to stress, even though everyone seems to think
it’s all about drugs.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. It wasn’t always about the drug. I would stay in my room for days,
for days at times, just trying to get it together, to know what my next
phase was going to be.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) In the mid-’90s, you said “I feel old.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah, like I’ve been through a world, a lifetime of stuff.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And that it just wasn’t any fun anymore.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Mm mm. No. I enjoy what I do. I love to sing, but it’s just not fun
anymore.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Because?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
People are different in the industry. It’s about the money. It’s about,
get it fast.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you think you’re not tough enough for this business?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Oh, I’m tough enough.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) That was a quick answer.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I mean, I’ve lasted this long. You’ve got to be tough.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) I want to ask you about the cancellations.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Did they tell you how many? Do you know how many? Look at my record,
see the concerts I’ve done, and see how many I’ve canceled in the 17
years of my career, and add it up.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But when you read the articles and people talk as if
you’re just impossible, ’cause you may show, you may not show.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Not true. Not true. Not true. Not true.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But there’s some high profile things you didn’t show for.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
True.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) For instance, not showing up for a tribute to her old
mentor, Clive Davis, after he’d been forced out of Arista, leaving her
on her own.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I cried. I cried. They just all of a sudden just say one day he’s not
there. He’s gone. That hurt, a lot.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But not showing up for Clive.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Oh, yeah, that was between him and I. We won’t discuss it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But what about the most famous no-show of all, at the 2000
Oscars, reportedly after botching her songs during rehearsal?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Okay, the Academy Awards.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Okay. I was fired from the gig. I didn’t mind. I really didn’t want to
do it anyway. But I’m, I was past that, I’m past that, and it’s over
now.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Why were you fired?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Because I was not getting along with the guy that was directing the
whole thing. Who I’ve known since I was a kid.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) I think you said laryngitis at the time. I don’t think
that’s what you said.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
It was, it was my, I had bronchitis. I asked him for just a day, just
to get it together. And I was kind of pissed off, and I had an attitude
about it. And rightfully so. You know, I should not have been on the
show, and they fired me. And that was it. And I went home.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And that’s all there was?

WHITNEY HOUSTON

That I can remember.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) People were saying that sometimes you just didn’t, you
didn’t seem there.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Really?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Yeah.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Probably, that probably was it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Once more, she says a lot of it is emotional turmoil, and
explains what she calls her physical reaction to stress.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I’m the kind of person, if, if I have a day that is nerve-wracking, or
my week has been bad or something’s going down, I won’t eat. Some
people eat, I don’t eat. And it shows in my physical frame.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Can I ask how much you weigh now?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Sure.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) How much do you weigh now?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I ain’t telling you.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) I think I got just sucker-punched. Do you work at it now?
To keep your weight up?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. You know what?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Yeah, but if people are going to be looking, and people
are going to be pointing.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
But they always have. From the moment I stepped out there. They always
have.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And looking back, the do you apologize, do you want them
to . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah, there are things I apologize for. But the things I apologize for,
like my concert dates, those are things I apologize for, because the
people really matter to me. They matter to me. And I know they came out
to see me. And I apologize for that. I’ll make it up to you.

ANNOUNCER
In a moment, the truth about her drug use.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) How scared did you get?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Scared.

ANNOUNCER
And the truth about her marriage to R&B singer Bobby Brown.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Has he ever hit you?

ANNOUNCER
When “Primetime” continues.

commercial break

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Someone said every marriage is a foreign country. But for
those looking on, few marriages have seemed more mysteriously
tempestuous than that of Whitney Houston to high voltage singer Bobby
Brown. He, right off the mean streets of Boston, she, the high-gloss
beauty, who broke racial barriers, not just in music, but in Hollywood,
too.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) It was 1992 when “The Bodyguard” made Whitney Houston a
stunning pioneer. Kevin Costner chose her to be his romantic
counterpart in the movie, a love affair on screen that had nothing to
do with or even mentioned race. The movie made a staggering $400
million, and an unacknowledged barrier fell down, arguably paving the
way for romantic leads by other African-American stars.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) You said you were scared to death on “The Bodyguard.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Scared to death. Terribly frightened. I mean, Kevin Costner. I said,
why me? He said, because you’re the only one that can sing.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) She says it was her husband who pulled her through.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I’d wake up in the morning and I’d go, “I can’t do this. This is too
much for me. Bobby, I’m going to quit today, okay, I’m gonna quit.” He
said, “No way are you going to do that. If you quit now, you’re going
to blame me for the rest of my life. You’re going to do this movie and
you’re going to do it well. You can’t quit now. You can’t turn back.”

MALE ONE, PREACHER
To love and to cherish.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
To love and to cherish.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) You’re looking at their wedding videos, never before seen
publicly. Whitney Houston, regal queen of soulful pop, marrying Bobby
Brown, streetwise star of a raunchy brand of R&B.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
With this ring, I thee wed.

MALE ONE
I now pronounce you husband and wife.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) She in her $40,000 wedding dress, 800 guests, and a lot of
people around the country wondering, why him?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
We did it.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
You just never pictured Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston together. Who
did? Love is where you find it. It’s where you find it, and I found it
in him, and he found it in me.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Brown, a kid from the rough part of Boston, first became a
star with New Edition.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Then, he had five number one hits as a solo act, with his
own signature dancing.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) They met at a party.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
He was sexy, smooth, a gentleman, and a nice guy, contrary to popular
belief. A very nice guy. Treated me like a lady. We’re, we’re opposites
in so many ways, but we’re so much alike.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) How are you alike?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
He’s family oriented, I am. And they didn’t give us six minutes to
last. We’ve gone ten years.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But there’s also been a decade of headlines for this
marriage, reports of jealousy, rumors that he hit her. And then his
drug use, in and out of rehab, and court, and prison, while she runs to
his side.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) On the way down here, a flight attendant came up to me and
said, “I’d just like to ask her why she stays with him. Why doesn’t she
just leave him?”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Well, I’d like to ask her why she stays with her man. I’d like to know
how her utopia is, then we can talk.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Has he ever hit you?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No, he’s never hit me, no. I’ve hit him, in anger.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) They have separated twice, but always come back to each
other. And some people have worried that it’s because he has a
controlling hold on her, stemming from the days when Houston was under
fire from black critics, who accused her of selling out, of being too
white.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) At the 1989 Soul Train Awards, a black audience briefly
booed her name.

FEMALE ONE, AWARDS ANNOUNCER
“Where Do Broken Hearts Go,” Whitney Houston.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) So the critics say Brown gave her street credibility,
though it does seem at times she goes out of her way to defer to him,
even when she won her 2000 Grammy for best R&B performance.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
And honey, this one’s for you, the original R&B king. I love you. This
for y’all.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Come back to the feeling that people have, that your
husband is controlling, and that you can’t get away from it any more
than an abused wife can get away from it. Because you can’t see it.
It’s a magnet that pulls you back.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
The magnet that they’re talking about is my love and my protection for
him. I cannot say that there wasn’t a time where, yeah, it was like
that. You know? But I was new at it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) When?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Five, four, five years ago. You know? I was that wife that wanted to be
there, to make sure, you know, everything was cool and that, you know,
no other women were around and, da-da-da-da-da-da, ba-ba-ba- ba-ba.
This is my first love, remember. I had never really ever been in love
with anybody like I was in love with Bobby, so I went through all the
changes that any girl would go through, you know? I did. I did. But I’m
older and I’m wiser now. I’m wiser about it. He can go away and I’m
fine. I can go away and he’s fine. It’s not the Svengali tactic
anymore.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Once somebody’s done that, though, it is hard to let go.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I don’t want to let go of him.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) No, it’s hard to let go of . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
He doesn’t want to let go of me.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) A Svengali relationship.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I did with Clive.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) At this point, someone has slipped into the room, sitting
on the sofa, listening. It’s Bobby Brown, hearing me ask if he’s
jealous of her.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) True? Not true?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Sometimes.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) She says sometimes, but from the sofa, he says, “Never.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
But sometimes I am of him.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Come over here. Come over here. I can’t do this anymore.
You have to come over here.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) Time to talk together about this famously turbulent
marriage.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) But why is it so turbulent?

BOBBY BROWN, SINGER
I think marriage is turbulent you know? We’re just in the public eye.
You know? A lot of people, you know, that are married go through worse
problems than us.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Have you ever hit her?

BOBBY BROWN
No, no, no, no, no, no. I wouldn’t, I would never.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
What does, what is this hitting me business?

BOBBY BROWN
I have four sisters. Four aunts, a mother. You know? Two daughters. I
would never raise my hands in, in any kind of way to them. I love, I
love the beauty of woman. And this is mine. No, no, no. Now, I admit,
I’m, I’m, you know, I’m a wild guy. You know, sometimes, you know. I
like all the attention. You know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Does it bother you when she gets all the attention?

BOBBY BROWN
No, that doesn’t, at all.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Yeah, but you’re in the same business. How do you not
compare?

BOBBY BROWN
No, but, but she’s, she’s a female. And no one can touch me as an
entertainer. No one. You know, so I don’t worry about that.

BOBBY BROWN
I know no one can touch her as Whitney Houston. Her voice, no one can
outsing her, you know, no one can outperform her, no one. So she has
her part and I have my part, and you know, that’s what makes it easy.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
We share that.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And they also share the notoriety about his drug use. He
has admitted that he’s an alcoholic.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
And it’s hard, because we’re rock ‘n’ rollers, man, I mean . . .

BOBBY BROWN
That’s the life we live here, you know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And this is the Atlanta courtroom where, just last week, a
judge refused to throw out six year-old charges against Brown for
speeding and driving without a license. While, in fact, the morning we
arrived, he’d been arrested again for the same thing, and this time,
with marijuana in the car.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Tell me about you and drugs.

BOBBY BROWN
Me and drugs, we’re not friends. We’re not friends at all. I used to, I
used to smoke a lot of marijuana, a lot.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But marijuana is still in your life?

BOBBY BROWN
Yeah, because I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m the type of person that I’m a
very high, high, high-strung person. I’m bipolar. It seems to help me
from going up and down.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) You’re diagnosed bipolar?

BOBBY BROWN
I’m, I’m diagnosed bipolar. And it helps me to keep, keep, keep the,
keep a level in my life, you know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But is there lithium? Did you get it treated?

BOBBY BROWN
I can’t take lithium. Lithium has me like this.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
He was catatonic. You know, it took him to, like, his spirit was dead,
you know.

BOBBY BROWN
Every now and then, you know, I smoke a joint. Every now and then, you
know. It’s not an everyday thing. It’s maybe every other day. But it’s
not an everyday thing. But it, it, it keeps, it keeps, it keeps me
calm.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) What about other drugs?

BOBBY BROWN
No. No. I never have. Never have and never will. That’s, that’s another
thing that used to get me so mad. I heard about . . .

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Yeah, they said you tested for cocaine.

BOBBY BROWN
But I tested, I tested for, I tested for a, a substance like cocaine,
which can be anything. It could be an aspirin. It could be a valium. It
could be anything. But it was not cocaine in my system. And this is
what I know.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Hey, baby.

BOBBY BROWN
It has been ten years since we’ve been married, right? They didn’t
think we was going to make it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) On her new album, she has a duet with Brown, it’s called
“My Love.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I’ve learned so much from him as an artist.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) What have you learned?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
How to move, to be more fluid.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Free.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Free. You know what I mean? Don’t be so constrained. Nothing’s perfect.
Nothing’s perfect.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And this is forever?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
That’s what I said. That’s what I said. Didn’t you?

ANNOUNCER
Living the life of a star.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
My business is sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll, you know?

ANNOUNCER
Until she was overwhelmed by the dark side of fame.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you think of yourself as an addict?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I don’t like to think of myself addicted. I like to think of, I had a
bad habit.

ANNOUNCER
When “Primetime” returns.

commercial break

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Now, we’re back with Whitney Houston, and the topic is
drugs. Questions about addiction, recovery, and how close she really
came to that shadowland between living and dying. When we arrived at
the interview, we had no idea if she would answer any questions at all
on the topic. Right away, she made it clear that her partying, as she
calls it, is not about anyone else. It’s her journey, her struggle.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
My business is sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll. You know? I mean, my friends,
we have a good time. But as you get older, you get wiser. You know? You
stop a lot of the kid stuff. I had no time to grow up, had no time to
party. I didn’t even date in my, date in my 20s. It was rough. It was
rough. I think I kind of reverted back as I got older. And I said, well
I’m just gonna party, you know? It was kind of a rebel in me, you know?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Did you think how dangerous it was?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. I wasn’t, I wasn’t like shooting heroin or anything.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) This says $730,000 drug habit. This is a headline.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Come on, 730? I wish. No. I wish that was making that money off of me,
you could share it with me. No, no way. I want to see the receipts.

>From the drug dealer that I bought $730,000 worth of drugs from. I want

to see the receipts.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Is it alcohol? Is it marijuana? Is it cocaine? Is it
pills?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
It has been. At times.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) All?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
At times.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) If you had to name the devil for you, the biggest devil
among them?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
That would be me. It’s my deciding, it’s my heart, it’s what I want.
And what I don’t want. Nobody makes me do anything I don’t want to do.
It’s my decision. So the biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend
or my worst enemy. And that’s how I have to deal with it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you think of yourself as an addict?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I am addicted to a few things.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Like?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Making love. I don’t like to think of myself addicted. I like to think
of, I had a bad habit, which can be broken.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But it’s hard. In 1999, her mother, blues singer Cissy
Houston, tried to intervene, after reports that Whitney and Bobby had a
wild fight in a hotel room.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
And she gets in my door, there’s some people I want you to meet. I
said, mommy, you’ve raised me with the love, and with God. Now, if I
can’t make it with you and with the love of God, I’m not putting my,
my, my life in someone else’s hands. I’m not doing it. I’m not doing
it. And nobody else, I don’t care where they’re from, what counsel
service, or whatever they’re from, if you did this to me, I will go and
leave the country, take Krissy with me, and we’ll just go. And I was
very serious. And she said, everybody leave, please. Wait a minute.
Because she’s serious.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But flash forward. It didn’t work. Here is September,
2001. Again, the night of the Michael Jackson concert. Whitney Houston
insists that the story of that period in her life is not just one of
drugs. She says she was upset about the plane crash that had just
killed the young singer, Aaliyah. And then, there’s the ongoing
pressure of that career.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But tell me about you that night. First of all, had you
been partying? Is that part of it?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Was I, I can’t say it was like an everyday kind of thing, yeah. I hung
out with some friends and I partied.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Did it seem to ease the pressure? Did it quiet the voice
in your head?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Seemed.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Seemed?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Seemed, yes.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But there she is, skin and bones, in photos taken live
that night, even though by the time the tape of the show was broadcast
on television, Houston had been electronically fattened up. Pounds had
been added to her frame.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) Did you see that they took electronic devices and changed
it for the air?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
They did it for me and a few other people.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Other people, too? Other people, yes? Because that sparked
that whole thing, when the headlines were saying “Whitney is dying.”

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. “Whitney was dead.”

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And Houston says something in those headlines brought her
to a turning point. Other people looking at her forced her to look at
herself.

DIANE SAWYER (CONTINUED)
(Off Camera) How scared did you get?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Scared. When they said that I had died, I did, I changed my mind. I
changed my mind. Yep. Because I didn’t want to look like the rest of
them. I didn’t want to be like them. It frightened me. I don’t ever
want to be in the realm of, where I’m caught in a mold and I can’t get
out. Never. That’s over. I’m beyond it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you think you came close?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I think as close as anybody, I think, can get. I know folks who have
come closer. But that’s as close as I want to be. That’s as close as I
think it gets.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And how sure are you that those bad days you talked about
are behind you?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I know that I’m on the right path, because I’m back home where I
started, in here. I can’t tell you it’s all going to be perfect, Diane,
and I can’t say . . .

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Yeah, because every, everybody says it’s day by day, day
by day.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But now do you say, not at all, or do you say, I can . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Well, I’m not going to tell you that. I can tell you that I am not
self-destructive. I’m not a person who wants to die. I’m a person who
has life, who wants to live. And I always have. And I wouldn’t mistake
it for anything else other than that.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Are you strong enough to do that now?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I think so.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And not let it get you?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Mm hmm. Yes, I am.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) ‘Cause most people . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I pray everyday that I am. I’m not the strongest everyday, but I’m not
the weakest, either. And I won’t break. And I won’t break.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Is today a good day?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Today’s a great day. It’s a blessed day.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) No temptations today?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I have a few temptations, but it’s not about drugs, it’s about kicking
ass, but, you know.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Mine?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
No. This is a blessing.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) But we kept wondering how hard will it be for her to
change her life when drug use is so close in those she loves, not only
her husband, her two brothers have each been caught with cocaine and
marijuana. And this past May, her cousin, Dionne Warwick, stopped at an
airport with marijuana, too.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Your cousin.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Jesus.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Your cousin did.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Very isolated incidents. One had nothing to do with the other.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And even though she’s not in conventional rehab, Houston
insists that today in Atlanta, she’s surrounded by something just as
strong, a prayer partner, Perry Nixon(PH) She calls her Sister Perry.
And her belief in a higher being, who she says rescues those who need
help.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I talk to people who have been through rehab, and a lot of people that
come through it, come through it with God. They tell you in a rehab
that 90 percent of you are gonna return. That’s not nice. That’s not
nice. So what I did is I looked in my soul to see what was missing.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) So for the people out there who say we want to help, we
want to help build a barrier between her and drugs, what do you want
them to pray for?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Don’t pray about the drugs. Leave the drugs alone.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Why? Why?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Don’t, don’t, pray for me, as a person, for my soul, that I’m stronger.
And man, I don’t care what anybody else says or did or what they
claimed I was, I know I’m a child of God, and I know He loves me. Jesus
loves me, this I know. Yeah.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And when we come back, why did her father bring a $100
million lawsuit against her? And his daughter dissolves in tears.

commercial break

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) As we said, Whitney Houston’s new album, “Just Whitney,”
comes out next week, and it’s a new chapter in her life. In the past
two years, she’s not only lost her mentor, Clive Davis, she became
estranged from her oldest friend, and then from her father. As so often
in her life before, song is mixed with sadness, pain mixed with joy.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) That voice, someone said once it’s a Stradivarius among
ordinary violins. As we said, this is her first album without the man
who molded her, Clive Davis, this one, supervised by the new head of
Arista, LA Reid. Even though the day we talked, as we said, she had a
case of laryngitis, she said her voice in the music is the portrait of
a woman 19 years into stardom and 100 years wiser. But as her mother
once said, singing is one thing, the music business is another. It can
bruise relationships, even with old friends like Robyn Crawford, friend
and employee. Once so close to her, Houston had to deny rumors the two
of them were gay. She still denies the rumors and says Crawford left
two years ago, after arguing with Bobby Brown about who should advise
Houston.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
There isn’t competition. There’s no competition. That’s my husband. If
you want to be my friend, let’s remain friends. If you can’t handle
that, sorry.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And in the pause, a message for Crawford.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
And I love ya.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And then, last September, the biggest blow of all,
Houston’s father, who managed his daughter’s finances, joined his
business partner in a lawsuit against her, demanding $100 million for
management help, they say, during her troubles, and in getting her a
big new contract with Arista.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Your father’s filing suit against you, $100 million. Do
you feel betrayed?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
It hurts. They’ll never get $100 million out of me. I know that.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) But they claim that you haven’t paid them for things they
did, like . . .

WHITNEY HOUSTON
They were never hired. But I won’t get into it.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Can you talk to him? What has he said to you?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
My father is, 81, very sick. His health is failing. Somebody is, who my
father’s associated with, has put fear in his heart, as if he’s not my
father and I’m not his daughter.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you still love him?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Absolutely. He gave me life. Before all of this, there were years that
I can’t forget. The bad part about it is that it’s about money, and
that really sucks. That’s, that hurts more than anything.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) When you think it’s the dad who dressed you and walked you
down the aisle, what are you thinking?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
That moment. Can I stop, please?

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Sure.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Thanks. I’ll be back.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Sure.

ANNOUNCER
The daughter who gives Whitney the strength to fight her battles,
ahead.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Do you like to sing?

BOBBI KRISTINA, DAUGHTER
Yes.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Would you like it?

BOBBI KRISTINA
Yes, and I want to be like my mommy and daddy.

ANNOUNCER
And the dreams for the future. When “Primetime” returns.

commercial break

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And now, someone we told you you’d get a chance to meet.
You may have heard in the past about Whitney Houston’s difficult
pregnancies, her miscarriages. But then, almost ten years ago, she gave
birth to a little girl. And she and Bobby Brown say Bobbi Kristina is
the happiest music in their lives.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Early in the morning, she and I would have private time together when
nobody’s around. And I’ll sneak up to her room, about 6:00, and I’ll
get in the bed with her and I’ll say, okay, we gotta get up in a little
while. And I’ll rub her stomach, wake the stomach up, wake up your
back, wake up the mind, wake up the, you know, body. And talk.

BOBBI KRISTINA
You know, the perfect thing is like, on, like, a Sunday or something
like that, when we like, like, sit and, you know, we get to watch TV or
like, listen to gospel music or have breakfast together.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) And what do you like about your mom’s voice?

BOBBI KRISTINA
I like her voice because it’s really nice and it makes me go to sleep.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) She sings you lullabies?

WHITNEY HOUSTON
I love you, I love you.

DIANE SAWYER
(Off Camera) Ten years from now, give me the perfect life for Whitney
Houston.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
Retired. Sitting, looking at my daughter grow up, become a great woman
of God, grandchildren.

DIANE SAWYER
(Voice Over) And perhaps, some measure of peace for Whitney Houston, a
woman whose ethereal talent is matched only by the uncertainties of her
all too human life.

WHITNEY HOUSTON
This is my time, now. You know, love me or leave me. But love me,
’cause I love you.