Whitney (2018) Movie Script

WHITNEY: There were times
when I would look up to God,
and I'd go, "Why is this
happening to me?"
And then these dreams.
I would have these dreams
about being on a bridge,
and the bridge going
back and forth and swaying.
There's a big storm coming.
I'm always running
from this giant.
I'm always running
from this big man.
I know I can make it.
I know I can make it.
I know I can make it.
My mother always says,
"You know,
that's the devil.
He's just trying to get you.
He just wants your soul."
And in a sense, it's true.
There's been several times
the devil has tried to get me.
But he never gets me.
And it's funny,
when I wake up,
I'm always exhausted
from running.
REPORTER 1: The news about Whitney
Houston is crackling through
the music world
and the news is good.
Her mother is
singer Cissy Houston,
but at age 21,
Whitney Houston
is blazing her own trail
with style and sizzle.
REPORTER 2: The most successful
debut solo album in history.
She's quickly becoming
the new queen of pop.
REPORTER 3: Crowned the
prom queen of soul.
REPORTER 4: It will
take an Act of Congress
to keep this woman
from becoming a megastar.
There's a boy I know
He's the one I dream of
America is working.
When I wake
From dreamin'
Tell me
Is it really love?
How will I know?
Don't trust
Your feelings
How will I know?
How will I know
If he really loves me?
I say a prayer
With every heartbeat
- Keep it down, son.
- Gimme that stuff.
WHITNEY: We lived in Newark,
and then the riots took place
- in the '60s.
- MAN: Do you remember them?
Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
I remember lying on the floor
and eating off the floor.
For the bullets, you know,
the bullets would fly
and go through you.
I grew up in the ghetto.
I mean, that's where I grew up.
All that you deserve
To have
Oh, that's why I say
Hear me, baby
When I say
I'm telling you, here...
Here I am...
AUNT BAE: I hear John's
voice, "Hey, Bae."
I said, "What?
Is Cissy okay?"
He said, "Yeah."
He said, "She had the baby."
He said, "Bae, you're not
gonna believe this baby.
She looks unreal,
she's so beautiful."
She was sassy, smart mouth...
always following me,
you know.
And my father made the point,
you know,
"Listen, you got to watch her
and take care of her.
If something happens to her,
don't come home."
And we became just like,
you know...
She was my best friend.
She'd leave the house,
and she would be clean-haired.
Then she'd come home
just dirty pants,
dirty shirt, hair messed up,
'cause she always wanted to be
rough and tough.
Always music on in the house,
especially on Sundays.
Gospel all day long, you know.
And then there was always,
you know, the music
that my mother was recording.
You told me
To leave you alone
My father said...
MICHAEL: My mother is
known all over the world,
and she sang background
for everybody.
She worked her ass off
and spent time away from us
in order to
make things better.
I remember me and my sister
crying, sitting on the curb,
every time my mother
would pull off to go.
So we stayed with a lot
of different people, you know.
Me and my brother and my
sister stayed with a lot of...
I mean, four or five
different families
and different people
who took care of us.
WHITNEY: I wanted to become a
singer when I was about 13.
That's when I realized
I wanted to be
a professional singer,
but prior to that
I just sang, you know.
I sang at church,
and I loved it.
MAN: Remember the first
song you sang in church?
Yes, I remember.
Guide me, O, thou
Great Jehov...
- ...hovah
- MAN: Mm.
Feed me till
I want no more
- WOMAN: Yeah.
WHITNEY: My mother, well,
she raised us in church.
You had to go to church
whether you liked it or not.
But, growing up, I loved it.
I loved to sing.
I loved the choir.
I knew that, whatever this God
was, he sure liked singing.
He loved people to sing.
He loved to be praised.
...The Lord
Yes, he will, oh
The Lord...
Well, if you just...
- Have a little talk
- A little talk
With Jesus
I used to be the directress
of all of the music
in this church,
but now I'm retired.
MAN: When she was a girl,
what was Whitney like?
She was beautiful.
She was a good baby.
Everybody loved her.
Except those
who were jealous of her.
There were girls
who liked to run her home.
But I was always
waiting outside for them.
I'm a fighter, okay.
All right, so
you bother my kids,
you've then bothered me.
The neighborhood we lived in
was a lot of dark-skinned,
colored people,
and Whitney used to get
picked on all the time
for being light-skinned...
A little white girl.
...'cause my mother
would dress her nice.
She was a quiet, sweet kid.
She didn't have
very many friends.
She was very involved
in the church,
um... would just go to school,
and she would just hang out
with her brothers.
Better hurry, Dorothy.
You know how the Jacobs are
when we keep them waiting.
Oh, I'm ready, George.
I think it's safe to say
there won't be
a handsomer couple
at the party.
Or a happier one.
MAN: Where did the name
"Whitney" come from?
MICHAEL: My mother says something
about this white sitcom,
but I never called her
Always called her Nippy.
Nippy is me. I am Nippy.
My father gave me
that nickname,
and I've been Nippy
since I can remember.
SOARIES: Whitney's
father, John Houston,
was a key player
in the 1970s
around the Gibson
and he was
a real deal-maker.
A deal-maker or a hustler?
Well, it depends on which side
of the deal you're on. Ha, ha.
MICHAEL: He was the head of
central planning and zoning
in that administration,
which was a very corrupt
and to get
a building put up,
you had to go through
my father.
So... you do the math.
He did enough for us,
along with my mother,
working hard,
for us to get out of Newark
and go to a house
in East Orange.
We had a better school,
a pool, a backyard.
AUNT BAE: They were striving
to become middle class.
They had
a really nice house.
They were the Cosbys
of Dodd Street.
MICHAEL: But East Orange was
20 blocks from Newark, heh.
You can live in a mansion
all you want.
When you come outside,
you gonna be amongst
the motherfucking wolves
and bears.
Now, for the three people
that haven't read about you,
your mother is Cissy Houston
of The...
- Sweet Inspirations.
- Right.
- Your aunt is...?
- My cousin is Dionne Warwick.
Who was your father?
Duke Ellington?
- Just lift him up
- Lift the savior up
Just lift up
WHITNEY: I come from
a family of singers.
From eternal tears
The family gathered at
Christmas time, Thanksgiving.
And after dinner,
instead of talking,
we'd all go around
the piano and sing.
If you see me
Walking down the street
- And I start to cry
Each time we meet
Walk on by
What can you do?
What can you say?
MAN: And your mother also tried
to have a solo career herself?
GARY: She tried to
have a solo career.
It didn't turn out to be
what she wanted.
I think she poured a lot
of that disappointment
into Whitney, for sure.
When I first saw you
I said, "Oh, my"
I said, "Oh, my
There's my dream
That's my dream"
I needed a dream
To make me strong
Nobody could touch Whitney, as
far as singing, except my mom.
My mom's voice...
And she taught Whitney
everything she knew
about how to use that voice.
You have three places
to sing from.
From your abdomen,
your chest and your head.
She learned them all.
Cissy sang from her heart...
and she taught Nippy
to sing from her heart.
She loved her mother dearly.
But her mother was, um...
the disciplinarian.
Her mother was hard on her
when she was training her,
would make her do it
over and over and over again
to get it right.
MICHAEL: She was a
little tough on Whitney
because she knew
what Whitney had.
They would come home a lot
of times mad at each other.
Whitney'd come in stomping,
cursing, go to her room
and slam the door.
My mother telling her,
"Listen, if you wanna sing,
this is what's got to happen.
If you don't, tell me now.
I won't waste my time."
MAN: Why was she sent to
that private girls' school?
DONNA: To put her in
a safe environment,
away from the bullying.
This was the investment
John and Cissy
were making in their daughter.
They wanted her
to be educated,
and not streetwise.
AUNT BAE: You know, it sounds
like I'm giving you the gas,
but so help me.
They had a really great
family dynamic going on.
KEVIN: But I've also heard
that she was bullied a lot.
Did other things
happen to her as a child
that might help to explain
why she became
such a troubled person?
No, Nippy didn't have
nothing bad in her childhood.
I sound a little defensive,
you know.
No, no. I'm just asking...
Nippy, she did not have
anything in her childhood.
She had an idyllic childhood.
She loved my father.
Loved my father
and loved my mother.
Them breaking up and getting
divorced really bothered her.
It bothered me.
KEVIN: What was it
that drove them apart?
I don't know.
My dad,
despite whatever philandering
he might have been doing,
was extremely jealous.
He had tapped the phone,
so he's sitting
back in this office
listening to Cissy's
conversations on the wiretap.
PAT: The truth is Cissy
did have an affair
with the minister
at her church.
I think about
my Father's house.
- Yes, sir!
- In my Father's house,
there's food.
PAT: You know, you're in
church, and you hear whispers.
None of them would
ever really get over it.
Her heart was broken.
That church had been
Whitney's second family.
And she was angry
with her mother.
Whitney moved out as soon as
she was 18 years old.
I don't think Cissy even knew
where she moved to.
GARY: We had a good,
tight-knit family,
but there were always
a lot of secrets in our lives.
You know,
there were a lot of secrets.
When you don't resolve things,
you don't deal with things,
they never go away.
They never go away.
STEVE: When I first
started working with her,
she was modelling...
and she hated it
because she knew that she
was gonna be a singer.
That's what she knew.
- MAN: What did she like to do?
- STEVE: She liked to sleep.
She liked to party.
She liked to hang out
with Robyn.
And she liked her cats.
(LAUGHS): She had a
cat named Misty Blue.
MAN: It was obvious
that John and Cissy
saw an opportunity
in Whitney.
The plan was
to get her a record deal,
but they didn't rush.
For a long time she was
just singing background
in Cissy's show.
SOARIES: At that time,
there was a teenage star
rising the charts,
and Whitney was angry.
She'd literally said she could
do that ten times better...
and her parents
were holding her back.
I sat down with her
at the McDonald's
across the street
from their home
to explain to her the music
that she was envious of
was fad music...
and what her parents
were preparing her for
was legacy music.
MICHAEL: My mother
was grooming her.
When I look back, I remember
my mother grooming her.
Is it true that you were
sort of tricked into
doing a solo performance?
We were playing at this great
iconic R&B club in New York
called Mikell's.
Cissy called Whitney...
She said, "Whitney,
I can't sing, I can't sing."
She wasn't gonna be able
to do the show.
My mom says, "You gotta do the
show. I can't let this gig go.
I'm like, "Oh, my God,
I can't do this, I'm 16... 17."
And it was packed,
and she was adorable
because she basically mimicked
her mom's everything,
her patter. And just
substituted her own name
for... you know, "Thanks
for coming to see Cissy."
She'd go, "Thanks for coming
to hear Whitney."
BETTE: I remember feeling
like a tornado, like a wind,
a monsoon of rain and wind
just hit me
and, like, was just
throwing me back.
That's how blown away I was
by this girl's voice.
I'd never heard
anything like it.
I am
I'm trying to
So next day she calls,
she says, "Hey, how you doing?"
I said, "You." I said,
"What's wrong with you?
You were sick."
She goes, "No.
I just wanted to see
if you could cut it."
BETTE: She blew the
roof off the place.
STEVE: And after that, we
started to seriously court
the record companies.
At that time,
there were no singers
that just stood up and sang,
a mic and a light,
you know.
There were bands.
What she was doing,
it wasn't something
that the record industry
was interested in,
but bit by bit we got offers.
Eventually, the two labels
offering good deals
were Elektra,
which was Bruce Lundvall,
and Arista,
which was Clive Davis.
Every night, one of the labels
would come down to the show.
The next day, one of
the offers would get bigger.
And the next night,
Bruce Lundvall
would come down
to the show with flowers.
The next night, Clive would
come back again with flowers,
and then the offer
would get bigger.
She was innocent-looking,
yet soulful.
Her voice was like no voice
I had ever heard.
When she stepped forward to do
"The Greatest Love Of All,"
I was totally knocked out.
Whitney found meaning
in that song that I was sure
even the composers
didn't know were there.
The children
Are our future
Teach them well and
Let them
Lead the way
STEVE: The two offers
were pretty even.
But we decided
to go with Clive.
Show them all...
CLIVE: You know, you get
that spine tingle...
when you know
you're in the presence
of somebody very special.
And that genius,
that vocal
interpretive genius,
had a profound impact on me.
Give them a sense...
NICOLE: The urban legend
that Clive created Whitney
is really not true.
Clive packaged it all,
but if anyone created
Whitney's taste, it was Cissy.
That's where Whitney got
her influences from.
SOARIES: John and
Cissy had understood
that to be successful
in America
as an African American,
to be successful
in the larger culture,
you've got to learn the ways
of the culture,
speak the language
of the culture,
wear the clothing
of the culture.
You have to have
double consciousness,
and that can cause you
to wonder,
"Who is the real me?
Am I an extension of that,
or is that an extension of me?"
There was Lena Horne.
There's Dionne Warwick,
but if the mantle is to pass
to somebody who's 19,
who's elegant, who's sensuous,
who's innocent,
who's got
an incredible range of talent,
but guts and soul
at the same time,
it will be Whitney Houston,
in my opinion.
She also happens
to be a model.
Yes, she is.
She's a beautiful girl.
And her poise doesn't hurt,
but it's her natural charm.
I mean, you either got it,
or you don't have it.
- She's got it.
- She got it.
Wait till you hear her.
Here's Whitney Houston.
When I think of home
I think of a place
Where there's
Love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there
With the things
I've been knowing
Oh, I know
You're listening, God
So won't you please try
Not to make it hard to know
I shouldn't believe
Everything that I see
A world full of love
Like yours, like
Like mine
Like home
REPORTER: There's a lot of competition.
What makes you think
you're gonna beat the odds
with your album?
God gave me something
really great,
and he doesn't give it
to everybody.
And since I decided
to spread it worldwide,
I think that
I'm gonna beat it. Heh.
Hey, yeah
Clock strikes
Upon the hour
And the sun
Begins to fade
Whitney Houston!
Still enough time
To figure out
How to chase
My blues away
Whitney Houston!
I've done all right
Up till now
It's the light of day
That shows me how
And when the night falls
The loneliness calls
Oh, I wanna dance
With somebody
I wanna feel the heat
With somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance
With somebody
With somebody
Who loves me
Oh, I wanna dance
With somebody
I wanna feel the heat
Yeah, I wanna dance
With somebody
With somebody
Who loves me
I need a man
Who'll take a chance
On a love that burns
Hot enough to last
So when the night falls
My lonely heart calls
Oh, I wanna dance
With somebody
I wanna feel the heat
With somebody
Yeah, I wanna dance
With somebody
With somebody
Who loves me
Don'tcha wanna dance?
Say you wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance?
Don'tcha wanna dance?
Say you wanna dance
Don'tcha wanna dance?
Don'tcha wanna dance?
Say you wanna dance
With somebody
Who loves me
MAN 1: The meteoric
rise to superstar.
Seven consecutive...
WOMAN 2: More consecutive
number one hits
than Elvis or The Beatles.
MAN 2: Most successful
debut solo album!
- WOMAN 3: Platinum six times.
- WOMAN 4: Heartbeat of America.
MAN (ON TV): Jack, did you ever
find this one here on the street?
- JACK: Many times.
- MAN: How much was she?
DONNA: She was simple.
When Whitney was at home,
Whitney wouldn't even
sleep in her bedroom.
She'd sleep on the couch in
the family room and watch TV.
You'd see her out there,
making herself a little
pallet on the couch,
and that's where
she would sleep at.
Very simple.
Very, very simple.
It was almost like...
she became Whitney Houston
when it was time for her
to get on stage.
And when she came off, you
know, she became Nippy again.
What about a boyfriend?
Anybody special?
- No, not at the moment. No.
- Oh.
- So who do you think about
when you're singing
something like that?
People. People in general.
- ARSENIO: She's saving it.
ARSENIO: What's going on
between you and Eddie Murphy?
There's no deep
intimate feelings?
There are deep feelings.
And sometimes we are intimate.
- MAN: Whoa.
MAN: Most recently, the
gossip magazines report
Houston and NFL quarterback
Randall Cunningham
are an item
and ready to marry.
Do you think she liked sex?
(LAUGHING): Yes, she did.
She talked about it.
She liked it way more than
I needed to know.
To the point
I was, like, scared for her,
so I actually bought her
a vibrator
for Christmas one year.
You know, you're a celebrity,
and you're a woman and you...
She couldn't just
date anybody.
You didn't know
if these people were honest,
and they're getting high.
I'm like, "If you wanna...
have sex and nobody's there,
or what... Take this."
I heard Robert De Niro
was following you all over.
He'd been on my case.
He'd been sweating me
for a little while.
Let me break that down.
He was chasing this woman.
The one that she might have
gotten closest to
maybe thinking
she was gonna marry...
could have been
Brad Johnson.
Can you imagine being
a 30-year-old single guy,
living in New York City,
and you're in your car,
headed up
the West Side Highway
to pick up Whitney Houston
to take her for dinner.
And it's 1987,
and you just feel like
you're on top of the world.
I don't know why I like it.
I just do.
BRAD: Just a very
sweet, somewhat shy...
I hesitate to say "innocent"
because she had an old soul.
She was wise in a way.
But then she was
still this 23-year-old girl
who would, you know,
grab your arm in a scary movie
and, you know,
curl up right next to you.
I never saw
a dark moment with her.
She just laughed.
She had this great laugh,
and she would kind of
squint her eyes.
I've been waiting
For the phone to ring...
Robyn was always
very friendly to me.
She was protective, but I felt
it was appropriate.
She didn't know me,
and of the people
close to Whitney,
she was the closest.
WHITNEY: I was 16 and we
were working at summer jobs.
I remember thinking, "Wow,
this is really gonna be
a trip this summer."
I don't have any friends."
And then here comes Robyn
with this beautiful,
beautiful afro.
She was tall
and very statuesque,
and I was like, "Wow, man."
She stood up for me,
and I remember thinking:
"I've known this person
seems like all my life."
PAT: At 18, she left
her parents' home,
and Whitney and Robyn
moved in together.
Tell me about Robyn Crawford.
What do you want to know
about Robyn Crawford?
- KEVIN: Who was she?
- Robyn was a nobody.
She was a nobody.
She was an opportunist.
She was a wannabe.
She was a nobody, really.
And she happened to
involve herself with Nippy,
you know, for whatever
reasons, you know.
I've never seen them
do anything,
but I knew that she was, uh...
She was something
that I didn't want my sister
to be involved with.
It was evil. It was wicked.
birthday Dear Robyn
Happy birthday to you
GARY: I knew she was a lesbian.
Yes, yes, I did.
For sure I knew. I was
the first one to know her.
I knew what she was.
And I tried to tell my sister
to leave her alone.
Whitney and her relationships.
Okay, so...
As far as Whitney
and Robyn...
the relationship
was her safety net.
- WHITNEY: Hi, Robbie.
- Hi.
ELLIN: That was a
whole separate world
from who she needed
to be in the public,
for her parents, her family.
The other relationships
outside of that,
be it Eddie Murphy or Randall
Cunningham or Brad Johnson,
she had those because
those were expected of her.
And she liked men too.
What they say now, in this time,
is that she's fluid.
She flows. She goes whatever
way she goes. She loves.
Robyn, I'll kick your camera
and break it.
- Robyn!
- ROBYN: I wouldn't do that.
LYNNE: When I first started
working with Whitney,
the press loved her.
She was the black princess.
That also included,
"Oh, and look how great
her family life is,
and look how wonderful her
parents are and her siblings."
I mean, for years
people even didn't know
that John and Cissy
were divorced.
You know, they showed up
at events together,
the perfect family.
But then stories
started to appear
about Whitney and Robyn.
WOMAN: Not too long
ago, I was in Detroit.
I did a radio show
for over an hour.
About 30 calls came in.
They really wanted to know,
"What is the story
of Whitney?
Is she gay or is she not?"
Whitney is not gay, ahem.
That is the story on that.
The only gayness I feel
is when I'm happy.
- That's it.
- And that's all that matters.
That's all that matters, yes.
No one in this organization
wanted anything to disrupt
this bullet train
that was Whitney Houston.
John didn't like it.
He painted this picture
for her to be
this pristine teenage girl,
no faults.
That was the image
he tried to create.
And the way he looked at it,
that was a black guy.
RICKEY: Some of the family
might have been homophobic,
but, really,
it was about control.
Robyn was the only one that
could get Whitney out of bed.
She was the only one
that Whitney would listen to.
And anyone who had
influence was a threat.
KEVIN: Did John ever try
and get rid of Robyn?
- KEITH: He talked about it.
- KEVIN: What would he say?
KEITH: He said, if he could,
he would break them up,
any way he can.
He wanted somebody
to scare her.
We refrained from that
because you never know what
the outcome is going to be
when you send people like that,
you know, to do something.
You just never know
what's going to happen.
What did you make of John?
He could be very charming,
but he was an opportunist.
And so he didn't hesitate
to get my dad out of there.
He wanted to be
running the show.
KEVIN: He didn't like the idea
of anyone else being in charge?
No, he was head, you know,
he was Captain Houston.
Shit, are you kidding me?
He loved being a boss.
You had to kiss the ring,
and I mean that literally.
He had a big-ass gold ring.
KEVIN: He would ask
people to kiss his ring?
JOHN: Yeah, exactly.
I'll never forget it.
And they did.
Nobody said, "Kiss my ass."
I was young, but you still have
to question, you know,
when someone says to you...
"You know you made it
when you got white people
working for you."
A lot of times
I look at Whitney,
and I can still see her
in braids,
pigtails... walking around.
It's hard for me
to deal with her as a star.
It's very hard for me
to deal with her.
I talk to her as a daughter.
She talks to me as her father.
Suddenly he had a dream job.
From $500 a week
to $500,000...
...a year.
Hi, Whitney.
- Was that a good show, Daddy?
- That was a great show.
DEBRA: John Houston was a
civil servant in New Jersey,
running over to Manhattan,
hanging out in the clubs,
trying to find
some people to manage.
And then all of a sudden,
his daughter...
becomes one of the biggest
stars in the world,
so John became a king too.
And John loved the fact
that he could call
anybody in Hollywood,
and they would take
the meeting immediately.
It's a power he never thought
he would ever have.
STEVE: Once John took over,
everybody in the family
except Cissy
was on the payroll,
and all the decisions
were just about,
you know, the money.
Just playing a few cards here.
So there you go.
Try and do a couple of hands.
MICHAEL: I remember her
putting me and my brother
on the payroll, when we didn't
even work for her at the time.
So we got a check
every week in the mail, $200.
And then we went on tour.
And from there,
we got a salary,
and then we had a retainer
when we weren't working.
She felt that
when you love somebody,
when you're family,
this is what you do.
This is how
we were brought up.
MAN: Our 6'5" senior from
East Orange, New Jersey,
number 24, Gary Garland.
RICKEY: Gary had just
finished a career in the NBA.
He was drafted to
the Denver Nuggets,
and it was stated
in the papers
that he was dropped
from the team
for failing a drug test.
KEVIN: That must have
been devastating.
I went through hell.
I was depressed
for nine months.
I'm talking about numb.
GARY: Then '85 came, when
my sister became a star,
and I started
singing with her.
I wasn't Gary.
I was Whitney's brother.
For Gary, having to sing
after having a basketball
career, was a letdown.
On the outside, he wanted
to show he was having fun.
I think he was dying inside.
WHITNEY: You get it?
You get it now, right?
After your two-beat freeze,
you go...
RICKEY: Michael was the
fun-loving younger brother,
had everyone laughing
all the time.
He had a job
as the road manager,
or tour manager,
something like that.
It was a family affair, man.
That's it.
MAN: All right, y'all. We're
getting ready for the first show.
GARY: It was amazing. We
traveled all over the world.
And we took care of Whitney,
me and my brother.
We were her bodyguards.
We took care of her baggage.
We made sure she was safe,
and she was.
RICKEY: The idea was that
they could watch over her,
and they could protect her.
But both of them were...
you know, were doing drugs.
I was using drugs...
deeply then.
After being on tour
for five or six months,
I come home, you know.
I spent time with my family,
but most times I was running.
A lot of parties to go to,
a lot of chicks...
...a lot of drugs.
You're Whitney's brother...
so the door is open.
You probably interviewed
I sat and got high with.
They know who they are.
Whitney and I were very close,
like I said,
and we spent
a lot of time together.
And it wasn't like I was
ten years older than her,
and I introduced her to drugs,
"Here, little girl." No.
We graduated from
marijuana together.
She wanted to try it.
I tried it. We tried it.
If anything
was gonna be done,
I was gonna be the one
to show her.
Her age was probably
around 16.
It was her birthday...
and... I gave her
a bag of weed...
and a little toke
of some cocaine.
I had fun,
and that's all that matters.
Don't you know that?
That it's about having fun?
Did I have a lot of fun?
MICHAEL: I was the one that
went out and got drugs,
you know, when we went
to different cities.
'Sup? Ha-ha-ha.
I got drugs in Japan.
In Japan it's a no-no.
It's a taboo.
Coming into the'80s,
everybody was doing it.
It was out in the open.
When you went to clubs,
it was right on the table.
It was like... It was crazy.
It was like...
Like it wasn't a bad word.
Like it wasn't a bad thing,
you know what I'm saying?
And... pfft...
little did you know.
Straight up killed her.
MAN: Do not be like the
horse or the mule,
which have no understanding
but must be controlled
by bit and bridle,
- or they will not come to you.
- Mm.
Many are the woes
of the wicked,
but the Lord's unfailing love
surrounds the man
who trusts in him.
Thank you for that.
Be your baby tonight
WOMAN: Two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight.
And seven, eight.
One, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight.
You got the magic
And I gotta have it
I don't want the pieces
I want every single part
I'll be your angel
I'm ready and able
Whatever you want is fine
Whenever you're ready
Just call on your lady
I'll be your baby tonight
It's time to chill.
But anyway
My name is not Susan
On the dance floor.
And it goes a little
Something like this
Who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
Say, who do you love?
- Yeah
- Yeah
- Yeah
- Yeah
- Yeah
- Yeah
I wanna know right now
Oh, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
I wanna know who
LAURIE: You miss something
if you don't see her live.
She could just let it go,
maybe feel like
she was in church again.
Thank you.
Come on, let's go. Let's go.
- Come on.
Watch yourself.
CISSY: It's kind of make
you wonder how a song like
"Things That Make You Go Hmmmm"
could be a hit, huh?
This we're gonna have to edit,
CISSY: Well, let me let you
all know who that was.
- First of all...
Put that...
Get out of here, Robyn!
Cissy Houston talking, folks.
Been in this business
for over 30 years.
That's right.
Never, Mom.
Never change, baby.
Stay the same.
You're beautiful. Love ya.
ROBYN: What was the business like, Mrs.
when you we were
very actively recording?
- CISSY: Hard. Ha, ha.
- ROBYN: Hard?
I don't wanna be in
a business that ain't true.
I don't want to be in it
like that.
I know, Mom, I know.
I know, Mom, I know.
- I know.
- My baby.
I'm not gonna change.
I'm not gonna do it.
I will not sell out
Don't sell out, kid.
Don't sell out.
Is it open?
Ma, that's ugly.
A lot of your black audience
has been a little bit
critical in the last year
about you singing songs
that were less
in a soul tradition
or in a gospel tradition.
And you went a little too far
to the pop side.
How do you feel
about that kind of criticism?
(SIGHS): I don't know.
What do they want?
What do they want me to do?
I think music is music.
You know? I mean,
how do I sing more black,
or how do I sing...
What am I doing that's
making me sound white?
I don't understand.
I'm singing music
from my heart,
from my soul, and that's it.
MICHAEL: Al Sharpton,
he's out protesting
with signs
in front of the hotel
saying "Whitey" Whitney.
At first she thought he was
saying Whitney Houston.
She couldn't connect it
until it was brought
to her attention,
"He's calling you 'Whitey.'"
What is the deal
in the past
when you've had the friction
at the Soul Train Awards?
They booed me
at the Soul Train Awards.
Yeah, and I'm not
exactly sure...
You can't ask a whole crowd
what was that about?
- Yeah.
Yeah, I wanted to say that
and some other things but...
The nominees for Best R&B
Urban Contemporary Single
by a Female are...
Now I know...
"Where Do Broken Hearts Go?"
Whitney Houston.
She was so upset.
She said to me,
"It would be one thing
if they were booing me
because they didn't like
the way I sing, Aunt Bae."
She said,
"But they were booing me
for something
altogether different."
And I think it goes back
to her childhood
when she was being bullied
in school.
She was really
torn up about it.
And I think the difference in
how the crowd reacted to me
and how they reacted to her
played a part
in our connection.
It's not hard to figure out
who the hottest young
solo male artist is.
- His name is Bobby Brown!
Is this an awards show?
- Are you all ready to party?
I was sitting
in the front row.
- She just kept nudging me.
- Get busy!
I said, "Excuse me."
She said, "Yeah."
It was just really funny
how she said it,
like, you know,
with this attitude.
I was conceited at the time.
- That's my prerogative
- Listen here.
Well, they say I'm crazy
I really don't care...
NICOLE: So then in
walks Bobby Brown.
He was black.
Absolutely for sure.
He was straight.
Would you make me go
Unh, unh?
NICOLE: Even straighter
than straight.
RICKEY: People thought,
"That's so odd.
She's sophisticated,
and he's unrefined,
that Bobby Brown."
We're from the hood,
and Bobby was a black boy
from the hood.
The type my mother
always kept away from her.
He's both of her brothers.
All rolled into one.
PAT: Bobby was a really
funny and fun guy
to hang around with, you know,
he made her laugh.
Yeah, baby! Yeah, baby!
PAT: She truly loved him.
She truly loved him.
- Wait. I gotta make my wish.
- Shh.
- Wait!
- Yes!
Robert Barisford Brown,
do you take this woman
to be your wedded wife,
and do you solemnly promise
before God and these witnesses
that you will love her
and comfort her,
forsaking all others
for her alone?
I do.
PAT: I think that was a very
difficult time for Robyn.
RICKEY: When you love someone,
you want the best for them,
even if it's not
the best for you.
You know that, "If I leave,
I can't think of anyone
that would protect her
from these landmines
that are all around."
ELLIN: Whitney believed
that if she got married,
everything would be
and she'd have
this great family.
She'd have her baby, and she'd
just live happily ever after.
She absolutely had
that fairy tale.
MARY: To me, she was a little
girl wishing upon a star.
She was always trying
to find her way back home.
This here is
a photograph of us in Italy.
It was a time when, you know,
they were just married.
We was on honeymoon and they
were into dressing alike.
I guess that was
the thing at that time.
She was extremely happy.
Looking forward to starting
her life with her husband.
AUNT BAE: She called me when
she was on her honeymoon,
and she said:
"Aunt Bae, I didn't get
my period. I'm pregnant."
Anyway, Krissi was born,
and I'll never forget
that day.
She came home early
because she didn't want
to stay in the hospital.
She came to the door,
and she was bent over.
And she had Krissi
in her arm.
And I said, "Nippy,
what are you doing?"
She said, "Aunt Bae,
will you bathe her?"
So I said,
"Of course I'll bathe her,"
so I took the baby from her.
I never gave her back.
She slept in a crib for
about two or three months...
And then one night
she was colicky and gassy,
and I put her in the bed
with me.
And she slept with me
in that bed,
wherever we were...
for the next eight years.
- WOMAN: Point at the baby, Mommy.
- That's my daughter.
That's me
and Bobby's little girl.
She looks just like
her father, doesn't she?
I think, in the beginning,
she was a good parent.
Whitney hated
leaving Krissi.
It's hard when you're working,
when you're traveling.
She had the same situation
as her mom.
But she insisted
on taking Krissi on tour.
Hey, baby, Krissi.
Oh, you're the best kid
in the world.
Thanks. You're the best kid
in the world!
Thank you, mama. Thank you.
The best kid in the world.
Thank you, Lord Jesus.
LAURIE: Her mother was pulled
away from her so much,
she was always vying for
her mother's attention.
Not her love
but her attention.
WHITNEY: You all know
who this is, huh?
Bobbi, Bobbi, Bobbi
Bobbi, Bobbi, Bobbi, Bobbi
My baby
My little girl
She inspires me
And she's giving me joy
Joy, joy, joy, joy, joy
A little goddess
And Mommy loves you, girl
You don't have to worry
About a thing
Because I'm standing
Right by your side
Don't worry
- Can you shoop?
- Mm.
MICHAEL: It's not a place
for children to grow up,
on the road.
It's just not.
A kid needs stability,
needs school.
Being around other children.
Krissi spent a lot of time
around grown-ups.
Therefore, you grow up fast,
and you become grown
before your time.
The battle has been joined.
I get a call
from Whitney's dad.
"Hey, son, we're gonna do
the Super Bowl this year."
Super Sunday is on its way,
and most of us will be glued
to our television sets.
RICKEY: I talked to Whitney
about how it should feel.
We always talked about
the feeling first.
She talked about Marvin Gaye
and how he had done
the National Anthem
at the NBA all-star game.
Marvin had this idea
to make it soulful,
so he had this drum machine.
And he just flowed in and out
and just sang however he felt
at that moment.
Oh, say
Can you see...
And I think Whitney
definitely saw then, like,
he was just free.
Early light...
So I said, "I understand.
If I give you one beat extra
for each measure,
it's gonna allow you
more freedom
to hold the notes
a little longer
and have gospel flavorings
and jazz flavorings.
They switched the meter
for the song
from a waltz
3/4 count to 4/4.
That might seem simple enough,
but for someone
steeped in the gospel
and black tradition,
all black music is 4/4.
The Air Force has been
using so-called smart bombs...
RICKEY: I remember this was
during the Persian Gulf war,
a patriotic time
in this country.
And when I hand the music
to the orchestra,
and they play it...
They hate it.
It's "dissonant",
Made in America
That means a lot to me
I sent her the recording,
and I never heard from her.
A week before the Super Bowl,
Whitney comes to town.
I'm excited.
I'm, like, pacing the studio.
And I'm like...
"So did you hear it?"
You know, "You hear it?
You ready?"
She says...
"No, I haven't listened to it
yet but just put it up, baby.
It'll be fine."
Holding my breath,
I push play...
and she sits there,
eyes closed, listening.
She says, "All right, I got it."
I'm like, "You got it?"
I roll the tape...
and what the world heard
was the first take.
Whitney Houston!
RICKEY: I can feel that
same emotion right now,
like you just witness
something magical.
O say can you see
By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's
Last gleaming
Whose broad stripes
And bright stars...
MAN: Black people have always
had a very fraught relationship
to "The Star-Spangled
It's essentially
a song about war,
and the organs
of state violence
in the United States
have just as often been used
against black people as they
have been against enemies.
And the rockets'
Red glare
The bombs bursting in air
She had the radical impact
of highlighting
the theme of freedom.
And for... black people,
that's the most
important concept
that you live under
in this country.
O say does that
Banner yet wave
O'er the land
Of the free
And the home
Of the brave...
BABYFACE: She brought
the spirit to it.
When you go to
the right church,
even as a Jewish person,
you might accept Jesus
in your life
after hearing
the right choir.
And at that particular point,
in hearing her sing
"The Star-Spangled Banner,"
she made people proud
that they were Americans.
MAN: Hi, sweetheart. What do you
think about Whitney Houston?
I like her.
What does she mean to you?
She's the greatest
female entertainer
of the 20th century.
So much soul
and so much spirit.
Every time
I think of her,
I think of
"The Star-Spangled Banner."
- MAN: Your favorite Whitney tune?
- "The Star-Spangled Banner."
I couldn't stop the tears
from rolling down my cheeks.
She sang with all her heart.
A beautiful singer and person.
A good Christian girl.
MAN: If you could say
anything, what would you say?
I love you, Whitney.
NICOLE: The first time I met her,
she was wearing big black glasses.
And she kind of pretended
to be tough
and answered in one word,
like, "How are you?" "Good."
"So you want to do movies?"
So I said,
"Take off your glasses.
I want to see your eyes."
And she said, "That's
exactly why I have them on,
so you don't see my eyes."
So I reached over
and took off her glasses.
She was kind of shocked,
but then I looked at her
and I thought:
"You know, even if she's
a singer, I think she has..."
She had a spirit.
And I thought,
"I'm gonna try this."
- The Bodyguard?
- The Bodyguard.
What do you play in it?
With Kevin Costner.
- Well, I'm not the bodyguard.
- No, you wouldn't be that.
No, I play an entertainer,
um, a rock star, pop star,
um, who is an actress,
who is haunted and hunted
by this maniac killer.
- Oh.
- (LAUGHS): Yeah.
It's kind of like "love me to
death" kind of thing. You know?
What's Kevin Costner
playing in it?
He's the bodyguard. Yes,
he's hired to guard my body.
- Oh, what a nice job!
ELLIN: She had never done a movie.
I had never done a movie.
But we learned quick.
For me, I'm like the most
I dealt with white people
was like at the store
when they was, like,
"You show us
your credit card."
You know what I mean?
That's how I was
used to being treated.
So to come on a movie set
and mostly white people
telling you what to do,
we were afraid.
Not that we were afraid
of them.
We were afraid
not to be able to live up to
what it was that we were
supposed to do.
COSTNER: The idea that
she was my leading woman
seemed to be a very big deal
in the black community.
I never, um, saw that.
I simply saw
she was the cutest,
most beautiful girl
that could sing.
- You okay?
- Yeah. I'm okay.
COSTNER: And she
happened to be black.
I'll think of you...
And then I realized that
she asks the plane to stop.
She ran down the steps
that every white woman
has run down
to kiss Cary Grant
or whatever.
And the camera went around
the way it went around
white people kissing
throughout the history
of Hollywood.
And we forgot about
what color anybody was.
That did change everything.
REPORTER: What was the fun
aspect for you being in a film?
Being a woman,
being a black woman,
playing a very strong part.
I think that's
exciting enough.
NICOLE: When it was
screened in South Africa,
people cheered
when they kissed.
That was amazing.
That I'll think of you
Every step of
The way...
And I
Ooh, I
Will always
Love you
Will always
Love you
Bittersweet memories
That is all I'm taking
With me
So goodbye
Please don't cry
We both know
I'm not what you
You need
And I...
Will always love you
Will always love you
And you, and you, and you
And you, and you, and you
And you, and you, and you
NICOLE: The Bodyguard took
Whitney into the stratosphere.
Every country in the world
played that song.
Behind these walls,
the row over a chart-topping
hit rumbles on.
And I...
John and Suzanne Handley
hated Whitney Houston
blaring through their walls.
They called it
psychological torture.
Today at their home
there was no comment
on the prison sentence
handed out
to the neighbor
they'd taken to court.
All she did was play
a Whitney Houston record,
and she's serving
seven days in prison for that.
It's dark. It's dark.
Under the candlelight...
Under the candlelight we see
that there is a woman in here.
We don't know her name yet...
but she's a fantastic
recording artist,
one of the best.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Miss Whitney Houston.
Yeah, I'm on camera.
They got me on camera.
- BOBBY: And that's Pat.
- Hi.
That's my sister-in-law.
This is Bobby.
Whether you know it or not,
yeah, it's me. How you doing?
DEBRA: She was the superstar,
and he had a couple of hits,
so kind of equal,
close enough.
And then The Bodyguard hit.
And she shot off
into the stratosphere,
and he knew instinctively
he would never get there.
And he just kinda shut down.
When you got people
in the media
talking about Mr. Houston
instead of Mr. Brown,
you know.
Instead of saying...
Like I say, "Fuck 'em,"
he let it get to him.
MAN: Can I just ask you
real quick, Miss Houston?
- Mrs. Brown, man.
- MAN: Mrs. Houston-Brown?
- Yes, darlin'?
- Pow.
Let's go, Laurie.
Bobby was jealous,
and he could not recognize
that emotion.
He was always now
the plus one.
For him, in a black man's mind,
it was tearing him up.
BOBBY: We didn't think
about who was bigger
or who sold more records.
We thought about our talents
and how they matched so well.
- Gotta go through...
- The fire
- The...
- The rain
You're crazy.
Bobby, you're crazy.
- What?
Because, I was about
to sing your line.
I know, I know.
You know what?
He'll sing this whole phrase
if I'm not careful.
Bobby, your part is,
"Gotta go through."
- All right.
- The rain, the joy...
- Gotta go through
- The fire
- The fire
- The rain
Bobby. Bobby, you go...
Gotta go through...
the rain... the joy.
- MAN: I'll play the reference.
- BOBBY: Don't play the reference.
DEBRA: She wanted to
keep the marriage,
and eventually, she stepped
down to lift him up.
Initially, I named her movie
company Houston Productions.
She's one of the biggest stars
in Hollywood.
And few months in, she said,
"We need to change the name
She went so far as to, "Okay,
well, you can manage me,"
trying to give him some
leverage in different things
to try to make him feel
important again.
That's just not
where his heart was.
He wanted to be on the stage
He wanted in the forefront.
Bobby! Bobby! Bobby!
PAT: He did things on
purpose to hurt her,
because he wasn't the star.
WOMAN: Bobby Brown is
behind bars today.
...accused of
hitting his wife...
totaling a Porsche
in Hollywood.
People were ringing
the doorbell,
young ladies saying,
"Oh, this is his baby."
Sexual harassment lawsuits
from some of the employees.
He would expose himself
to them.
MAN: The R&B singer
burst into tears.
Urinated on the back seat
of the deputy's car.
What took you so long?
it was always something.
This isn't fair.
This ain't fair, man.
I remember being in Europe
and sitting with her,
looking at
a European newspaper,
and Bobby's being arrested
for sexual harassment
back in California.
And she's begging him
to come on tour.
She's begging him
to come be with her.
And I look at her and I go,
"What are you doing?"
PAT: Between the press
and everybody saying
this is not gonna last, it was
constantly biting at her.
PAT: But she didn't want to be
like her mother, a divorce.
She was going to prove
that she could do it.
Do you believe
in total fidelity?
Do I believe in what?
Total fidelity?
Being faithful?
(SCOFFS): Oh, I am faithful.
That's why I got married.
- Told you.
Wouldn't have
got married if...
- You know...
- I think I got it.
- BOBBY: I hope so.
in love, do you think?
They loved each other
but a strange love.
I think she might
have believed
she was in love with Bobby,
but I think it was more of
a co-dependent relationship.
To the point where Bobbi
Kristina was even left out.
RICKEY: Somewhere around The
Bodyguard tour, '93, '94,
I remember her not showing up
in the rehearsals.
And then, when she came,
she would struggle
with her voice.
It wasn't the Whitney
I knew.
There was
definitely agitation.
All of the noise around her,
all of the things
coming at her,
she just wanted
to escape the pressure.
KEVIN: Can we talk about Whitney's
drug problem? When did that...?
I don't wanna talk
about that.
That has nothing to do
with this documentary
or anything that
I want to speak about.
KEVIN: Okay, if you don't
wanna talk about it.
- But it's...
- Not at all.
KEVIN: It's the thing
that killed her,
so it's important.
That's not what killed her.
KEVIN: Whenever you
were with Whitney,
were you taking drugs
every day?
Hell, yeah, every day.
A lot every day. Shit that
usually kills motherfuckers,
and you survive it.
So you keep rocking. Ha, ha.
What about Bobby?
Let's just say Bobby was
a fucking lightweight...
when it came to
motherfucking drugs.
Bobby was not someone
who could do, you know...
We used to pass Bobby,
fucking, by lapping him.
Trust me.
What was Whitney's
drug of choice
at that time?
I'm sure it was cocaine,
you know.
- Marijuana and cocaine.
- KEVIN: Was she smoking it?
I'm sure she smoked it
inside the marijuana.
If we can't talk about drugs,
that makes it very hard
to talk about
the last years of her life.
I think we've just talked
about her life, you know.
Drugs has nothing
to do with her life.
LAURIE: She was kind
and soft and sweet.
And then she was
somebody different.
Tell it.
What did you hear?
That you had what?
MAN: I wouldn't fuck
her with mine, dawg.
PAT: She started
canceling dates.
I can recall
one particular time
she was scheduled
to perform in California,
and she was in California.
But she was at the airport,
sitting on a jet.
They had been getting high,
and Bobby made a phone call
saying, "Tell the promoters
to bring over X amount
of dollars, and we'll show up."
I said, "That ain't
gonna happen.
Take off, 'cause that
ain't gonna happen.
That ain't how it works."
You know?
"That is not how it works.
Ain't nobody bringing you
a bag of cash!"
Everything began
to spiral out of control.
I talked to her father.
I talked to her mother.
I talked to Donna Houston.
Every person
that you're gonna interview.
And I was able to get Cissy
to do an intervention.
First of all, we walked in to
do it, and Whitney was stoned.
Then after it was over, when
she had agreed to go to rehab,
she phoned her father,
and he told her:
"You don't have to go."
Why didn't Cissy do more?
MARY: She didn't want
Whitney mad at her.
KEVIN: Because she'd been mad
at her earlier in her life?
MARY: Yeah. And when she tried,
she would go up to her house,
but Whitney wouldn't
let her in.
You had to get permission
to go through that gate.
KEVIN: Why would nobody
confront the situation?
Money. Their jobs.
Their nice houses.
Their access
to other celebrities.
The fact that,
in my opinion,
they had
no marketable skill set,
other than being a Houston
or related to a Houston.
I mean, that's a lot.
That's hard to give up.
They probably felt, I guess,
a little bit in their defense,
that "She's choosing
to do this.
Why should I give up
my lifestyle?"
I once talked about
why she didn't stop,
and she said, "I like it.
And I'm gonna do it,
until I want to stop."
PAT: I really empathize
with her pain.
She was running away
from her demons.
I can run
I'm guaranteed his love
When there's food
On my table
- I'll hasten
- Hasten to
I'll hasten
I'm not gonna waste
Any time
I'm gonna run
Gonna run
- I'll run, I'll run
- I'll hasten to
- I'll run, I'll run
- His love
I'll run, I'll run
I'll run
- I'll hasten to
- I'm gonna run
- I'm gonna run, I'm gonna run
- His love
- I'll hasten to
- I'm gonna run
- I'm gonna run
- His love
I'm gonna run
Ah, oh
Sure I will
Do you know
You can run?
Did you think
Of running?
You're gonna have to
Be strong
Where will I go?
That's where I'm going
To his
LAPUK: There were so many
layers to reach her.
I don't even think she knew
the layers that were
being created by others.
One day we were told
we had to send everything
through Sheldon.
The next day
it was through Tony.
Some days, we were told
we can't copy Robyn.
Where is she? There she is.
Ready? One, two, three.
Of all the people
working for Whitney,
Robyn was always putting
Whitney's considerations
Gotta get some respect
around here.
They don't give me
any respect.
LYNNE: Robyn became very
important to Whitney's career.
She dealt with
the record company.
She was the creative force
involved in costume,
stage design,
developing Whitney's image.
If tomorrow is
Judgment Day
Sing, Mommy.
And I'm standing
On the front line
And the Lord asks me
What I did with my life
I will say
I spent it with you
- Yeah, it's all so right
- It's all right
ELLIN: It became a
real power struggle
between Bobby and Robyn,
Bobby not wanting Robyn around,
feeling insecure.
- You gotta understand.
- Yeah.
I love this woman too much,
but if y'all fuck around...
- Bobby!
- ...I will kill you.
WHITNEY: Baby, you...
Do me a favor.
I will fucking bury you.
I'll bury you in my backyard
and put lime on your ass.
Do you understand me?
It was extremely stressful,
them always at
each other's throat.
DONNA: Robyn felt that
Bobby was a bad influence.
She really and truly felt
he was a bad influence,
and that he would
destroy her.
Robyn gave her an ultimatum.
"It's gonna be me or him."
Whitney said, "Tell her that
I accept her resignation."
I called Robyn up and said:
"I spoke with Whitney,
and she wanted me to tell you
that she accepts
your resignation."
And they didn't speak
for years.
NICOLE: When Robyn left, John
finally had total control.
RICKEY: She loved her
daddy, and she trusted him.
But that allowed for a lot of
foxes to come in the henhouse.
She seemed to be
a bit of an ATM
for a lot of people
that I saw around her.
I don't see how an accountant,
you know,
drives a Ferrari
and has a yacht
and only has one client.
My understanding was
that (BLEEP) and (BLEEP)
got together
and started stealing money.
A lot of money.
KEVIN: Was John himself
stealing money?
Hm. Um...
GARY: She found out about it.
All the money he stole.
She hated it.
She cut him off.
That's what she did.
WOMAN: 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.
NICOLE: In 1999, Whitney
signed the biggest deal
that any recording artist
had ever received.
PAT: John felt that he was the
one that brokered the deal.
As a commission,
he felt that he should be
paid $100 million.
I'm tired of being hurt.
I'm tired of being
in a neglected state.
You get your act together,
And you pay me the money
that you owe me.
She was daddy's little girl,
and then daddy turned around
and wanted to sue her
for $100 million.
That would break
anybody's heart.
She just held onto it.
And it ate her up inside.
When I knew he was dying,
I called and she promised me
she was coming,
'cause I wanted them
to get it together
before he went away.
I said, "Nip's on her way.
She's gonna come."
He said, "No, she's not.
She's not coming."
And really she didn't come.
RICKEY: Whitney didn't
come to her dad's funeral.
She came the night before
and did her personal goodbyes.
She didn't want the spectacle.
She didn't want the cameras.
PAT: That's when she began
to close herself and...
"It's me against the world."
JOEY: This is Whitney's
house outside.
If the way I hold you...
JOEY: This is our first
cigarette today.
What's wrong with that?
No words of consolation
The dining room.
Is gonna make me
Miss you less...
Make it easy on yourself
Make it easy...
JOEY: I always felt compassion
and empathy for her.
Deep down,
she was a girl in pain.
But at the same time,
she was so fun.
She was full of laughter,
and that smile just made you
feel warm all the time.
Well, here she is,
- JOEY: Wait! I gotta get to you!
We need you to rock it,
Whitney! Come back!
She was the first person
that I worked with in A&R.
You can't run
from the studio!
I'm leaving!
We recorded
wherever they wanted to go.
You know, we'd go to Miami
because the weather
was better.
I think we were there
three months,
and we recorded
less than two songs.
Wow, what was...?
What was happening
for those three months?
She said to me once...
After that, she said, "Baby,
I don't think I slept
45 minutes this summer."
She would go behind
the hotel door
and not open it
for 10 days or two weeks.
When she opened it,
I could tell that
she lost weight.
She wasn't looking healthy,
and I would take her and say:
"Come on, Nippy, let's go.
Let's go get some soup."
KEVIN: How long did
this all go on for?
A few years.
- KEVIN: A few years?
- Yeah.
KEVIN: How much do
you think you spent?
I hate to say.
Probably more.
Expensive hotels, jets,
studios that were booked
that weren't used.
KEVIN: Why didn't the
label put a stop to this?
Well, the world wanted
to hear her again,
and of course, the label
wanted to put out that record.
KEVIN: There was so much
money spent on that album,
you must have known
about the drug use.
Uh, you know what, I never
knew there was any addiction.
I never knew it.
Um, it was just kinda kept...
I don't know if it was
kept away from me
because I was, at the time,
the president of the label,
or, you know...
Oh, you
Light up my life
You give me hope
To carry on
Oh, you light up
My day, Lord
And fill my
My night
With song...
JOEY: She was having
problems with her voice,
but the magic still
showed up... now and then.
One time I was in Newport
recording a song.
That day, it was just like
the old, young...
beautiful voice
coming out of Whitney
that we all grew up with.
And it was so magical
that it brought me to tears.
It was just like...
I mean, I even have
goose bumps right now
just thinking about it.
I can just feel them
taking over my body,
'cause it was so wonderful.
And I was just...
I was like, "This is it.
This is what we need."
And there was just a few hours
of that, that was just like...
That was one of
the highlights
of the entire four years
that I was around her.
If you can't
Feed your baby
Then don't have a baby
And don't think maybe
LYNNE: We denied rumors about
her drug-taking for years.
But four days before 9/11,
Whitney did a concert
for Michael Jackson.
She looked so bad.
The cat was out of the bag.
The record company felt she
had to do a sit-down interview
and talk about this.
Everybody watching this is
is gonna be staring at you
And they're gonna be saying,
"How thin is she now?"
- Yeah.
- "Is she sick?"
I'm not sick, Diane.
I am not sick.
The bones. That's real.
Yeah, my bones, yeah.
- I'm 5'7" and thin.
- But that's not just thin.
No? What is it, Diane?
Tell me.
Is it alcohol?
Is it marijuana?
Is it cocaine? Is it pills?
It has been. At times.
At times.
I was in the room...
And it just made me
start sweating.
If you had to name
the devil, for you,
the biggest devil among them?
That would be me.
I knew it was a disaster.
Crack is cheap.
I make too much money
to ever smoke crack.
Let's get that straight,
We don't do crack.
We don't do that.
Crack is whack.
I saw that interview and I
thought, "Why are we here?
Why are we doing this?"
I always thought,
"Why are we doing this?
Why are we not doing
the one thing
that would make the difference
for her life?"
Which was getting well.
I pray every day, Diane.
I'm not the strongest
every day,
but I'm not
the weakest either.
And I won't break.
It's Whitney Houston
and Bobby Brown!
- Woo!
After our interview
with Diane Sawyer
I... I haven't
been able to sleep.
Yeah, and I haven't been able
to stop sweating.
Your favorite song
sung by America's sweetheart,
Whitney Houston.
Come on, Daddy, I...
I need my fix.
Remember the deal,
You sing,
then you get your cocaine.
MAN: She's high and we've recorded
her on a double CD collection.
Listen as she screws up
one song after another.
I need help, baby.
I need to get off
this touring crap.
No matter what
They take from me
They can't take away
My dignity
Come on, Whitney,
go get it.
It's just a joke to people?
Whitney Houston
is a joke to you now?
You're gonna laugh?
Well, fuck you.
This is the greatest singer
that ever walked the earth.
Beloved by millions and
millions all over the world.
She's not a tabloid star.
DEBRA: It's hard to
understand the isolation
of that kind of
tabloids thing.
Michael Jackson
would call her sometimes,
and she would go over and sit
with him in his hotel room.
And they wouldn't even
say anything to each other.
But they just...
They understood each other.
They both... They were...
two of the few people
in the world
who could understand
what their circumstances were.
And it was just being close
to each other.
REPORTER: Whitney Houston has
checked into rehab again.
Houston last checked herself
into a rehabilitation center
a year ago.
Houston said she is using
the power of prayer
to help her get over
her addiction.
KEVIN: A number of times
she went away into rehab,
and she never managed
to get clean.
I know it's
a pretty complicated answer,
- but why was that?
- No, I don't think...
It's not complicated.
to go into treatment,
you have to go for you.
Not for someone else.
And you have to tell
the real problem.
MICHAEL: I think it's always
something in your childhood
that makes you do drugs.
KEVIN: Is there something in
your childhood that's made it
particularly difficult
to escape the addiction?
GARY: I remember a lot
of different things
going on in my life
that were different.
What sort of things?
You know, being a...
Being a child,
being 8 or 9 years old...
Seven, 8, 9 years old,
and being kinda molested
by a female...
A family member of mine.
You know.
- KEVIN: That bothered you a lot?
- Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.
My mother and father
were gone a lot.
So we stayed with
a lot of different people.
Me and my brother
and my sister stayed with
four or five different
families who took care of us.
KEVIN: Gary told me that he
suffered sexual abuse as a child.
Did you ever hear
that the same thing
happened to Whitney?
I have heard it.
I have heard it.
I couldn't figure out why she
would always be on my case
about my daughter Reya.
If we were doing
a business trip,
she never liked the idea
of me leaving her behind.
And then, as mothers,
we talked,
and she explained to me why.
We was talking one day,
'cause she knows my sister,
and my sister was molested
at an early age.
And she looked up at me,
and she says,
"Mary, I was too."
I said, "Huh?"
She said, "Yeah, I was
molested at a young age too."
She said, "But it wasn't
a man, it was a woman."
And she had tears
in her eyes.
She says, "Mommy don't know
the things we went through."
I said, "Nip, have you
ever told your mother?"
She says, "No."
I said, "Well, maybe
you need to tell her."
She said,
"You don't know my mother.
My mother would hurt somebody
if I told her who it was."
And she just had tears
rolling down her eyes,
and I just hugged her.
I said, "Well, one day,
when you get the nerve,
you need to tell your mother,
and it will lift the burden.
It will lift the burden
off you."
What makes you angry?
Child abuse makes me angry.
MAN: Why child abuse? You
come from a loving family.
WHITNEY: 'Cause, I hate to see kids...
'Cause for children...
It bothers me that
children who are helpless,
who depend on adults,
for their security
and for their caring,
and for their love...
It just... It bothers me.
It makes me angry.
Did she tell you who it was?
Yes. She did.
She did.
KEVIN: Gary told me that
it was Dee Dee Warwick,
his aunt, Dionne's sister.
Is that what she told you?
Yeah, that's what
she told me.
"It was Dee Dee."
And I said, "What?"
She said, "Yeah."
What can you do?
What can you say?
When you find love
Slipping away?
I think she was ashamed.
She used to say,
"I wondered did I do something
to make her think
I wanted her."
And I had to say,
"Stop it. Stop it."
"A predator is a predator."
If Cissy had have known
it was happening,
she would have
done something about it.
Because Cissy
loves her children.
KEVIN: What do you think
the long-term effects
of the abuse were?
It made her question
her sexual... preference.
And I think that's why
she really wanted a family,
a husband, children,
to make her feel that this is
what's supposed to happen.
KEVIN: Do you think she
understood herself?
I think she was trying
to find herself.
She was a good actress.
I always used to tell them:
"Whitney's in there somewhere,
but she's trapped."
Wake up! Wake up, Nippy!
Are you in there?
Whitney calling Nippy,
Whitney calling Nippy.
She won't answer. She's really
being non-cooperative today.
- WOMAN: When she's ready to go...
- Nippy calling Whitney.
Yes, hi!
See, Nippy can call Whitney,
but Whitney can't call Nippy.
It would be too dangerous
for everyone.
Oh, my God.
LAPUK: All that praise.
All that money.
She'd reaped
all these things
from that talent
and that beauty,
but it still wasn't gonna be
enough for what she really...
She really wanted.
If you can't know who you are,
nothing's gonna save you.
I feel like...
You and me
Against the world
Sometimes it feels like
Just me against this whole
Motherfucking world
I'm sure you've never seen me
like this before.
$150 and a water bottle...
WOMAN: Just as beautiful as
every other day of your life.
LAPUK: In the end, there was no
drive, there was no interest.
There seemed to be no vanity.
Someone who's not
really alive, right?
Like a zombie... in some ways.
I mean,
not feeding off anyone but...
AUNT BAE: She went to Georgia
to get away from everybody.
She could run away
from her mother.
She could run away from me.
She could run away from
the people that would say:
"No, goddamn it,
it ain't happening this way."
She went down there to visit
and never came back home.
Her home here in New Jersey
was still completely packed.
There was food
in the refrigerator.
There were clothes
in the drawers.
KEVIN: Did you live in the
Georgia house with them?
MARY: No sir. Wouldn't
have if I was asked.
It was dark and evilness.
You know, she always...
And I'd go in,
I said, "No, we gotta
open the blinds.
Evil dwell in the dark."
Bobby would say
awful things to her.
She would come in
with tears running,
and I said,
"Come on in here with me.
Let him calm down."
And I said, "You can't keep
letting him do this to you."
"I know, I know,
I know, Mary."
I used to try to keep Krissi
out of her mother
and father's room.
One day I came,
and she had been in there.
She was looking at me,
and I said:
"Krissi, why did you
go in the room?"
"Well, I was looking for
something, Auntie Mary."
She said, "What the hell...?"
I said, "Krissi..."
What did she see?
Oh, her father
used to like to... draw
all these devils and demons
on the floors and the walls.
And... it was something
out of a storybook to me.
It was... Wow.
She was the best mother
she knew how to be.
But you've got to have
that motherly love,
and I just don't know
if she knew how to give it.
The things Krissi
had to endure,
no one would ever imagine.
They didn't take care
of Krissi.
left her to the wolves.
She never had a chance.
NICOLE: She'd never
seen a normal life.
She was the companion of an
alcoholic and a drug addict.
And that was what
she learned to be.
PAT: Whitney asked me to
meet her at the hospital.
Krissi had taken a knife
and slashed her arms.
That's awful.
- Why did she do it?
- PAT: She hated her life.
She hated her mother.
She even went
as far as writing:
"I wish I could find
a way to kill her
and no one
find out about it."
MAN: The very public and
very troubled marriage
has come to an end.
Whitney Houston
has filed for divorce
from her husband
Bobby Brown.
The two singers,
who have one child,
have been married
for 14 years.
I'm surprised
it lasted that long.
Anderson, back to you.
MAN (ON TV): A lot of
people felt it was coming.
I appreciate that.
We'll check in with you
for other headlines
coming up.
PAT: That was a hard
battle to come back from.
People saying, "I told you so.
I told you so."
(SOFTLY): So I'm saving
All my love for you
MARY: I remember Whitney
crying about Bobby.
Krissi would go over
and just rock her
and say,
"Oh, Ma, it's okay.
It's okay, Ma, don't cry.
He's gone so we gonna
let him be gone."
She said,
"I'm a failure. I failed."
But then she started
getting it together.
And we started biting to make
it right for Bobbi Kristina.
For the very first time,
she was determined
to become clean.
She went to rehab
in California
for about seven
to eight months,
but she couldn't
complete the program
because she didn't have
any money, nothing.
She'd gone dry.
It was tour time.
REPORTER: They went from
ka-ching to ka-trouble.
Now Whitney Houston is trying
to turn it all around
and pop back
to profitability.
She says,
"Don't call it a comeback,"
but it sort of is a comeback.
NICOLE: When we heard
about the final tour,
nobody wanted her to go.
Clive begged for her
not to go.
But at that point,
management felt
that without that money,
she'd be homeless.
The wait is almost over.
Fans at the Brisbane
Entertainment Center
walked out on her performance
in disgust.
Whitney Houston's comeback tour
has hit yet another snag,
as hundreds of fans walked out
of a recent show in Denmark.
Words like "shambolic" and
"horrendous" have been used.
Definitely not worth $165.
She couldn't entertain
a dead rat.
And I...
I will always
Love you
I will always
Love you
You always
Always love
Love you
You, I
I'll always love
- Thank you.
SOARIES: Whitney meant so
much to black America.
We had a service for her
at Abyssinian Baptist church
in New York.
I suspected there'd be a
couple of dozen people there.
The church was packed,
2000 people on a weeknight,
to pray for Whitney Houston.
I mean, by that time,
her demons were public.
By that time, we were all
concerned about her future.
And just the people
who don't know her
gather because when one
Whitney Houston emerges,
black America
clings to that star.
It's about much more
than music.
CHOIR: Through the storm
Through the night
Lead me home...
Whitney Houston will be back
on big screens across America,
starring in Sparkle,
a remake of
her favorite film,
one she would watch
over and over as a teen
back in the '70s.
You got five minutes.
She wanted to do the movie.
She needed the job.
There was no more
music career.
The deal was that she would
have a drug test every week.
You look tired.
DEBRA: She's climbing
out of a hole.
I am.
DEBRA: "If this is what I have
to do, it's what I have to do."
In the first rehearsal,
she looked terrible.
She was bloated,
she was slurry.
And then she
cleaned herself up.
When she wasn't working,
she'd sit on set
just to hang out with people.
Saturday night, took all
the cast out to celebrate.
I invited her.
She showed up.
She went to the football game
with some of the guys.
I mean, she really, really,
really was there.
I remember
midway through the shoot,
and I'd walk towards
the hair and makeup trailer,
and I'd hear
this gospel music blasting.
It's, like, 5:00
in the morning,
and she's in there singing,
You know, happy.
I said, "What are you on?"
Both of us looked at each
other and burst out laughing
because she wasn't
on anything.
This was joy,
and I think it was the joy
of having a purpose.
Of being able
to get up in the morning
and know you had a job.
You had people who wanted
to be around you.
You were a part of
a community.
And I really saw her
come back to life.
- I sing
- I sing
- WHITNEY: I sing because
- Because
- I'm happy
- CHOIR: Happy
- Hallelujah
- ALL: Hallelujah.
- WHITNEY: I sing
- CHOIR: I sing
- WHITNEY: I sing because
- CHOIR: Because
- I'm free
- CHOIR: I'm free
On the last day, she said:
"I got an idea
for our next movie.
It's gonna be
David and Bathsheba.
Me and Mel Gibson."
I was like, "Well, Whitney,
I don't know about that one."
I said, you know,
"I think..."
She was getting
an early morning flight.
"This is gonna be great.
We'll figure out
stuff to do.
You just go back home."
It wasn't until her wake...
that her bodyguard
came over to me and he said:
"You know,
she didn't take that flight."
I mean,
nobody ever told me.
She didn't want to leave.
She, um... She stayed like
an extra three or four days...
And finally, she had him
drive her back to Atlanta.
I just don't think
she wanted to leave.
Because she had purpose
and people who loved her.
And I can just see her going
back to, you know, Alpharetta
and waking up
in the morning...
Or more likely,
in the afternoon...
with no reason
to get out of bed
and nothing on the horizon.
And I just think she went home
and went back in the hole.
we've finally come...
To an end
Oh, well
We've finally come
To the end
Story is over
No, we haven't
come to the end.
- When is the end?
- WOMAN: When you say so.
She came to my room early...
of the morning in question.
And she started talking
about... John the Baptist.
And she said... She laid her
head on my shoulder,
and she had her arm
around my waist.
She said, "We're gonna be
together one day, Ray."
She says, "Mary...
...I gotta get
my shit together."
She said,
"'Cause I got to see Jesus."
And I gave her this look,
like, "Right."
She asked me to set up
my box up for her,
so she could listen
to the music.
She always listened to music
before she go on stage,
or whatever
she getting ready to do.
She would listen
to some Fred Hammond.
So I ran the water.
She got in the tub.
And she wanted
these cupcakes.
She said, "Mary, I just want
a sprinkle cupcake, I swear.
Get two,
but I won't eat but one."
And I left her smiling and
brushing her hair in the tub.
I wasn't gone but 30 minutes.
WHITNEY: I'm always
running from this giant.
I'm always running
from this big man.
My mother always says:
"That's nothing
but the devil.
He's just tryin' to get you.
He just wants your soul."
But he never gets me.
MARY: When I got back,
there were no lights on.
I said, "What the hell?"
And I proceeded to step...
in the bedroom.
Water came to my ankle.
I said, "What the hell?"
I saw my baby
floating in there,
just face down
in the water.
MAN 1:
Breaking News.
Whitney Houston is dead.
The death of singing star
Whitney Houston.
MAN 2:
Cause of death is drowning.
Heaven just got
another beautiful voice
added to the choir.
MAN 3:
Due to cocaine use.
One of the true legends.
hope all the negative press
would take a pause and
remember this great talent.
When I think of home
I think of a place
Where there's
Love overflowing
I wish I was home
I wish I was back there
With the things
I've been knowing
I know
You're listening, God
So won't you please try
Not to make it hard to know
I shouldn't
Believe everything
Everything that I see
A world full of love
Like yours, like
Like mine
Like home
TV HOST: You won't forget that name!
Whitney Houston!
Share my life
Take me for what I am
'Cause I'll never change
All my colors for you
I said
Take my love
I'll never ask
For too much
Just all that you are
And everything
That you do
You, you
I don't really need to look
Very much further
I don't wanna have to go
Where you don't follow
I won't hold it back again
This passion inside
I can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide
Don't make me close
One more door
I don't wanna hurt
Stay in my arms
If you dare
Or must I imagine
You there?
Don't walk away from me
I have nothing
Nothing, nothing
If I don't have you
You see through
Right to the heart
Of me
You break down my walls
With the strength
Of your love
Mm, oh
I never knew
Love like I've known it
With you
Will a memory survive
One I can hold on to?
I don't really need to look
Very much further
I don't wanna have to go
Where you don't follow
I won't hold it back again
This passion inside
I can't run from myself
There's nowhere to hide
Your love
I'll remember forever
Don't make me close
One more door
I don't wanna hurt
Stay in my arms
If you dare
Or must I imagine
You there?
Don't walk away from me
I have nothing
Nothing, nothing
Don't make me close
One more door
I don't wanna hurt
Stay in my arms
If you dare
Or must I imagine
You there?
Don't walk away from me
Don't walk away from me
Don't you dare
Walk away from me
I have nothing
Nothing, nothing
If I don't have you
If I don't have you
Oh, you