NEW YORK – Cissy Houston has a few words, and a few more, for Bobby Brown.
In her new book, “Remembering Whitney,” the mother of the late Whitney Houston writes that from the start she doubted whether Brown was right for her daughter. And she thinks Whitney might not have ended up so “deep” into drugs had they not been married for 15 years.
“It would have been easier for her to get sober and stay sober,” she writes. “Instead she was with someone who, like her, wanted to party.”
The book comes out a few weeks before the first anniversary of Houston’s death. She drowned in a hotel bathtub in Beverly Hills, Calif., Feb. 11 at age 48. Authorities linked cocaine use and heart disease to her death.
During a recent phone interview, Cissy said she has no contact with Brown, not even concerning her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina. She reaffirmed her comments in the book that Whitney would have been better off without him. “How would you like it if he had anything to do with your daughter?” she asked.
She said she wanted the book published so the world would not believe the worst about her daughter. Cissy, herself an accomplished soul and gospel singer, describes Whitney as a vivacious and generous person. She acknowledges in the book that her daughter could be “mean” and “difficult.” But “almost always,” Whitney was “the sweetest, most loving person in the room,” her mother writes.
Brown is portrayed as impulsive, hot tempered and jealous of his wife’s success. Cissy Houston describes a 1997 incident when Whitney sustained a “deep cut” on her face while on a yacht with Brown. Whitney insisted it was an accident, that Brown had slammed his hand on a table, breaking a plate, and a piece of it flew up and hit her.
“She seemed sadder after that, like something had been taken away from her,” Houston writes.
For years, Whitney’s drug problems had been only a rumor to her mother. But by 2005 she had seen the worst. Houston remembers a visit to the Atlanta home of Brown and Houston, where the walls and doors were spray-painted with “big glaring eyes and strange faces.”
Whitney’s face had been cut out from a framed family picture, an image Cissy Houston found “beyond disturbing.” The next time Houston came to the house, she was joined by two sheriff’s deputies who helped her take Whitney to the hospital.
Actor chases, catches burglary suspect
LOS ANGELES – Police say actor Taye Diggs chased down and captured a burglary suspect he found rummaging through his garage Sunday night.
It happened after the “Private Practice” star and his wife, Idina Menzel, returned to their Studio City home from the Screen Actors Guild Awards, where Diggs was a presenter.
Diggs saw a man in his garage, apparently looking for items to steal, police say. The man ran off, but Diggs followed him down the street and held him for police. Neither man was hurt.
Hassan Juma, 20, was arrested and remains jailed Monday on $50,000 bail.
Dutch queen to turn throne over to son
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch Queen Beatrix announced Monday that she will abdicate on April 30 after 33 years as head of state, clearing the way for her eldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, 45, to become the nation’s first king in more than a century.
The announcement signaled an end to the reign of one of Europe’s longest-serving monarchs, whose time on the throne was marked by tumultuous shifts in Dutch society and, more recently, by personal tragedy.
“Responsibility for our country must now lie in the hands of a new generation,” Beatrix said in a speech just days before she is to turn 75.
Observers believe she remained on the throne for so long in part because of unrest in Dutch society as the country struggled to assimilate immigrants, mainly Muslims from North Africa, and shifted from its traditional reputation as one of the world’s most tolerant nations.
Beatrix was struck by personal tragedy a year ago when the second of her three sons, Prince Friso, was left in a coma after being engulfed by an avalanche while skiing in Austria.