Whitney Houston took drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, with ex-husband Bobby Brown, who was emotionally abusive during their marriage and at one point spit on her, the singer said during an interview that aired Monday on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
“I had so much money and so much access to what I wanted,” Houston told Winfrey. “I didn’t think about the singing part anymore. I was looking for my young womanhood.”
After a long absence from music, Houston is staging a career comeback with a new album “I Look to You” released last month and a two-part appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Houston is one of the best-selling artists of all time, but her career stalled as she grappled with drug problems and a troubled marriage to Brown.
The couple married in 1992 and were divorced in 2007. During their marriage, Brown was arrested on drug and alcohol charges, and Houston twice entered drug rehabilitation programs. She has custody of their teenage daughter.
Houston told Winfrey that Brown wasn’t physically abusive but “he slapped me once but he got hit on the head three times by me.”
A phone message left Monday with Brown’s attorney in Atlanta seeking comment was not immediately returned.
Houston said she was attracted to Brown because he took control of their relationship and had “a sweet, gentle tenderness.”
“At home, he was very much the father, he was very much the man,” Houston said. “He was very much in control. I liked that. When he said something, I listened. I was very interested in having someone have that kind of control over me. It was refreshing.”
She described an episode after a birthday party for Brown that left her “horrified. He spit on me, in my face.” She said their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, witnessed the incident, which left Houston “very hurt, very angry.”
Houston also said Brown would smash and break things at their home.
The 46-year-old singer described her drug use, saying it became “heavy” after her 1992 movie “The Bodyguard.” She said she would take marijuana combined with rock cocaine.
“You put your marijuana, you lace it, you roll it up and you smoke it,” Houston explained to Winfrey.
During a 2002 ABC interview with Diane Sawyer, Houston admitted dabbling in drugs but denied using crack, then uttered the now-famous phrase: “Crack is wack.”
“He was my drug,” Houston told Winfrey of Brown. “I didn’t do anything without him. I wasn’t getting high by myself. It was me and him together. We were partners.”
Houston said she stuck with Brown because she took her marriage vows seriously. She said she told her daughter about her drug use and took her with her to an Atlanta drug rehab for mothers and children.
“I didn’t lie to her,” Houston said.
Her mother also tried to intervene, the singer said, and at one point came to Houston’s home with police.
The singer prayed for help, asking God to give her strength, she said.
“I was so weak to him,” Houston said. “I was so weak to the love.”
Words by Caryn Rousseau from AP