Oprah's Whitney Houston talk reveals the dark secrets of marriage to Bobby Brown and their drug use.
Whitney Houston's Oprah interview on Monday was a candid, graceful look inside the heart of a woman the Los Angeles Times once referred to as "a national treasure." Celebrity Love: Recalling Whitney Houston's Bruised Romantic Past
Whitney plunged from the heights of success to the depths of an abusive marriage and a co-dependent drug addiction with now ex-husband Bobby Brown. Her new album I Look to You lays the carpet for her first comeback—professionally and personally—in almost a decade. YourTango's Celebrity Love has recapped part one of Oprah's interview with the the woman, the icon: Whitney Houston.
Oprah: Was marrying Bobby a way to be out of the spotlight?
Whitney: In a sense, because he allowed me to be me. He was fun, passionate, loving. We were crazy lovers...we would look at each other and just sweat.
Oprah: You were the first black princess, and so the princess marries the bad boy. Was that strategic on your part?
Whitney: No, it wasn't...he was interested in me...He was like, "If I asked you to go out with me, would you say yeah?" And I said [thoughtfully], "Yes, yes, I certainly would."...People don't have an idea about that sweet gentle person [he is]...at home he was the father, he was the man, he was very much in control. I liked that...when he said something, I listened. I was very interested in having someone have that control over me because, you know, he was refreshing...He was fun...I would describe [the magnetism between us] as passion.
Oprah says she once heard Whitney quoted as saying that if there was an addiction, it was an addiction to making love.
Whitney: Yes. We did a lot of that. Lots.
Oprah: Was he jealous of you?
Whitney: He's not gonna like this, but yes.
Oprah: And then did you try to overcompensate?
Whitney: I did try to play [who I was] down at that time. I did. I tried to play, I'm Mrs. Brown, don't call me Ms. Houston.
Oprah: Did you lose yourself in that?
Whitney: Yeah, trying to please.
Oprah: You did [Being Bobby Brown] for him.
Whitney: Yeah, I did. I did it for him, I did it with him.
Oprah: Do you think it highlighted the dysfunction between you?
Whitney: (laughs) Yeah I do. I sure do.
Oprah: Were you happy with him?
Whitney: I wasn't happy with the relationship.
Oprah: Were you happy with yourself?
Whitney: I was losing me into the marriage. I was trying to be pleasing...I was determined to prove [the world] wrong [and show them we could last]...I was trying to make a statement.
Oprah: What's the worst thing he ever said to you?
Whitney: I just remember this moment, it was this party, and I gave him a party at this club in atlanta…and he had a lot to drink, and everything I did to try to make him happy, it kind of turned on me...When we got back to the house, he spit on me. He spit on me. He actually spit on me. And my daughter was coming down the stairs and she saw it, and that was pretty intense…I didn’t grow up with that, and I didn’t understand how that occurred...I knew something was gonna blow...I was almost two feet out the door, and I asked [a friend] to come get me, and [Bobby] pushed me against the wall, and I took the phone and hit him over the head with it, and my daughter saw it, and it was just drama. Drama. It was just one of those moments, it was just hateful, ugly.
Oprah: When did you know the marriage was not gonna work?
Whitney: I just knew, I just, you know, You don’t smell right, you don’t look right, [an affair] is going on, and then all this stuff started coming out about him being with this one or that one....dragging dirt into my home…it disturbed me...[he used] my credit card [to cheat]...I had a problem with that.
Oprah: You know what I get now that I didn’t get then?...I was like, why are you putting up with that. But what I now get is that you took those vows very seriously.
Whitney: Very. Oprah, to my heart…what God put together let no man put asunder. Holy matrimony was a very serious thing to me…I was gonna keep my vow.
Oprah: Tell me how bad did it get, the drugs?
Whitney: When you don’t speak [to each other], and you’re living in the same house, and you’re sitting right next to that person, and you don’t say a word for a week [gestures being high, laughing sarcastically with each other]…that’s bad.
Oprah asks Whitney how she finally decided to leave Bobby.
Whitney says she asked God to give her the strength for one day. [My mama] showed up at my house [with the sheriffs and] said, "If you move Bobby, [these police] are gonna take you down." [To Whitney she said,] "You weren't raised like this, and I'm not having it. Because I have a court junction that says you're gonna [go to rehab and make a decision about the marriage.]
Part two of Oprah's interview with Whitney Houston airs tomorrow.
Photo via Bauer-Griffin.