LOS ANGELES, March 12 — Whitney Houston’s daughter yesterday said she still heard her mom encouraging her “keep moving, keep going”, and the pop star’s sister-in-law revealed new details of the day Houston died, in their first public interviews since the singer’s death.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, 19, told talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she was “doing okay ... I’m doing as good as I possibly can” since her mother was found lifeless in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hills Hilton hotel on February 11, the eve of the music industry’s Grammy Awards.
“I can hear her voice, you know, and spirit talking to me, telling me, you know, ‘keep moving baby. I’m right here. I got you’ ... she’s always with me. I can always feel her,” Bobbi Kristina Brown told Winfrey.
“I feel her pass through me all the time,” said Brown, whose father is singer Bobby Brown.
Houston and Brown’s only daughter said she felt her mom’s presence in the house they shared in Atlanta. The “lights turn on and off, and I go ‘mom, what’re you doing?’ ... I can still laugh with her. I can sit there and I can still talk with her.”
Houston was 48 years old when she died. She rose to fame in the 1980s and enjoyed a long career that peaked with her 1992 hit “I Will Always Love You” from the movie “The Bodyguard”.
But her life was plagued by a troubled marriage to singer Brown, and she had previously admitted to heavy use of cocaine, marijuana, alcohol and prescription pills.
Officials have said prescription drugs were found in the hotel room where she died, but a cause of death is still pending toxicology tests that are expected later this month.
The interview, which took place at the Atlanta home of Houston’s brother Gary and sister-in-law and manager Patricia, revealed new details of the day the singer died.
Face down in bathtub
Oprah opened the broadcast by saying “members of the family told me she (Houston) was face down and naked” in the bathtub, and Patricia revealed that Houston’s assistant, Mary, discovered the singer’s body in the hotel room bathtub.
A security guard, who is Patricia Houston’s brother, tried in vain to resuscitate Houston in the room but was unsuccessful.
He was “trying to revive her to the point of exhaustion”, Patricia Houston said, “and I called his name. I said, ‘Ray ... let it go’. They (paramedics) asked him to move. He was on his knees. He said, ‘I tried’. He was so out of breath.”
A tear rolled down Patricia Houston’s face as she recalled the sight of her sister-in-law lying dead on the hotel room floor. “She had a peacefulness on her, a look on her. She had a peaceful look,” Patricia Houston said.
Winfrey asked Patricia Houston if she believed drugs were involved in the singer’s death. Patricia Houston said she believed the pop star’s worse days of drug abuse were behind her, although she stopped short of saying Houston was not on drugs or drinking on the day of she died.
“I don’t think drugs (were) an issue for her before her death,” Patricia Houston said. “I don’t know what happened that day. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Finally, Winfrey asked Houston’s brother Gary whether Brown, whom Whitney Houston divorced in 2007, was asked by Houston’s family not to attend the singer’s funeral and Gary replied “Absolutely not”. Brown did turn up for the funeral, but left early, blaming a mixup with security over seating.
He said his family was not angry about a picture of Houston in her casket that was printed in the tabloids following her death, and added that his mother long ago had premonitions about a young demise for his sister.
“I remember my mother used to say ... Whitney’s not going to be with us too long,” Gary Houston said. “She’s an angel. She’s a gift.” — Reuters