Hous­ton’s daugh­ter still feels her‘spirit’

Fam­ily tells Oprah about final days

The Washington Times Daily - - Life - BY NEKESA MUMBI MOODY

In her first in­ter­view since Whit­ney Hous­ton’s death, daugh­ter Bobbi Kristina Brown said she is “do­ing as good as I pos­si­bly can” and re­called the ten­der last mo­ments she shared with her su­per­star mother be­fore her sud­den death last month.

“She’s al­ways with me,” said the 19year-old, Hous­ton’s only child and sole heir. “Her spirit is strong, it’s a strong spirit. I feel her pass through me all the time.”

Miss Brown made the com­ments in a Sun­day in­ter­view with Oprah Win­frey on Miss Win­frey’s net­work, OWN, that also fea­tured Pat Hous­ton, the singer’s man­ager and sis­ter-in-law, and Gary Hous­ton, the brother of Whit­ney Hous­ton.

Miss Brown cred­ited her fam­ily and God for help­ing her cope since her mother’s death on Feb. 11 at the age of 48.

“It comes in waves. One mo­ment I can be happy and laugh­ing, but then it comes over me. It’s my mom,” she said.

Hous­ton, who strug­gled with drugs and al­co­hol in the past but, ac­cord­ing to fam­ily, ap­par­ently had been clean, was found in a bath­tub at the Bev­erly Hil­ton Ho­tel in Bev­erly Hills, Calif., on the eve of the Gram­mys. She was to at­tend a pre-grammy party the night she died.

Miss Brown said that the night be­fore her mother’s death, she asked Hous­ton to spend the night with her.

“I slept in her arms all day, all night long,” said Miss Brown, whose fa­ther is singer Bobby Brown.

Pat Hous­ton said that in the days be­fore Hous­ton died, the singer had not been abus­ing drugs, de­spite re­ports that she was act­ing er­rat­i­cally. She said an event she at­tended two days be­fore her death where Hous­ton looked di­sheveled was par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult be­cause the leg­endary per­former got into a ver­bal spat with a for­mer con­tes­tant on “The X Fac­tor.” Pat Hous­ton would not name the woman, but Stacy Fran­cis has said she and Hous­ton had words that night.

Pat Hous­ton said Miss Fran­cis “made her­self present ev­ery­where we were,” un­nerv­ing Hous­ton and lead­ing to an ar­gu­ment.

The day of her death had been un­event­ful, her man­ager said. Hous­ton had lunch in her ho­tel and was pre­par­ing for her men­tor Clive Davis’ an­nual party. Hous­ton was sched­uled to tape an in­fomer­cial and other in­ter­views that day.

Pat Hous­ton went out to run er­rands for about a half-hour. When she came back, Hous­ton’s as­sis­tant went to check on the singer.

“When I headed down the hall­way [to her room], I heard scream­ing,” she said.

When Pat Hous­ton ar­rived in the room, she saw the singer’s se­cu­rity guard fran­ti­cally try­ing to re­vive her ahead of the paramedics. He told her: “I tried.”

Pat Hous­ton said the singer had “a peace­ful look on her face.” The cause of Hous­ton’s death has not been re­vealed. The 90-minute tele­vi­sion spe­cial also touched on the singer’s ex-hus­band, Mr. Brown, who had a tu­mul­tuous mar­riage with Hous­ton. Although some have ac­cused Mr. Brown of in­tro­duc­ing Hous­ton to drugs, lead­ing to the down­fall of the once-pris­tine singer, Pat Hous­ton said that was un­true.

Pat and Gary Hous­ton had warm words for Mr. Brown.

“I loved Bobby Brown. Bobby was a good guy,” said Gary Hous­ton, the late singer’s el­der brother. “I don’t know how good they were for each other.”

They also de­nied that the Hous­ton fam­ily asked Mr. Brown to leave her fu­neral ser­vice or didn’t want him to come. Mr. Brown showed up briefly but left af­ter a dis­pute over seat­ing.

“Bobby was sup­posed to be there,” Gary Hous­ton said.

Pat Hous­ton said Mr. Brown and his daugh­ter have a re­la­tion­ship, but in­di­cated that they hadn’t spo­ken since at least Hous­ton’s fu­neral.

Miss Brown said she planned to carry on her mother’s legacy and be­come a singer, as well as act and dance. She expressed frus­tra­tion over the “neg­a­tiv­ity” sur­round­ing her mother’s im­age: “That’s not my mother.”

In­stead, she de­scribed her as her con­fi­dante, a sis­ter, her best friend — “my ev­ery­thing.”

She still spends time in the house she and her mother shared, and at times said it’s hard to be­lieve Hous­ton is not there.

“Some­times, it’s so sur­real. I still walk into the house like, ‘Mom?’ ” she said. “But I’ve ac­cepted it.”

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