Cissy Houston has told how she forced daughter Whitney into rehab after finding the singer’s home had been turned into a drug den.
As the first anniversary of Whitney Houston’s death approaches next month, Cissy Houston is still traumatized by her drowning in a Beverley Hilton hotel bath at the age of 48.
But in her memoirs, Remembering Whitney, Cissy Houston admits: “She started partying and she didn’t really know how to stop. I used to wonder what she was doing at night, where she was.”
According to the extract obtained by People Magazine, Cissy Houston continues to ask herself: “Could I have saved her?”
In a serialization in the Sun, Cissy Houston first realized Whitney had problems when she arrived unannounced at the mansion in Atlanta, Georgia, the singer shared with her husband, Bobby Brown, and their daughter Bobbi Kristina.
Cissy Houston, 79, had been called by her son Gary in early 2005 warning her: “Ma, I think Nippy [Whitney Houston family's pet name] is really in trouble.” He travelled everywhere with the singer.
Inside, the multi-million house was filthy, but Cissy Houston’s biggest shock came when she saw “big glaring eyes and strange faces” spray painted on the walls and door.
Then in another room, she discovered Whitney Houston’s head had been cut out of a large framed photograph of her with her husband and daughter.
Cissy Houston recalled: “Evil eyes staring out like a threat. Who would do such a thing it seemed crazy. It was beyond disturbing to seeing my daughter’s face cut out like that. It was frightening.”
In Remembering Whitney, due to be published by Harper and Collins on January 31st, Cissy Houston tells how her daughter yelled at her and refused to come downstairs.
Cissy Houston said Whitney looked as if she was on drugs and did not recognize the woman who was a worldwide star with many Grammy music awards and acclaim as an actress.
She left the house but vowed to save Whitney, returning with a court order and two women police deputies. The petition had been signed by eight people and a doctor who had seen the singer in the past 48 hours.
When they arrived, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were at the doorway. She was shaking as Cissy Houston told her they were taking her into rehab.
Whitney Houston was in hospital for a week, but banned her mother from visiting telling everybody who came to see her that her mother had had “her locked up”.
In 2006 Whitney Houston broke up with Bobby Brown but she never really forgave her mother’s interference in her life, according to the memoirs.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast on Monday, Cissy Houston, a singer in the 60s and 70s, reveals how son Gary told her in a phone call of her daughter’s death at the Los Angeles hotel on February 11 last year.
She said: “I was getting annoyed because he wasn’t telling me anything. He was screaming. He was saying, Nippy, Nippy. I said, <<what’s wrong with her?>>.
“He said, <<Mommy>>, I said, <<Is she dead?>>. He said, <<Yeah, Mommy, she’s dead>>. And I don’t remember too much else after that.”
In the People magazine extract she said: “I’m angry she died alone, in those conditions.”
Cissy Houston says she does not blame Bobby Brown for Whitney’s drug addiction.
“I blame him for the way he treated her, but I don’t blame him for her drug problems,” Cissy Houston is quoted as saying.
“He was no help to her at all.”