Almost a year after her daughter Whitney Houston’s death, Cissy Houston is opening up about that horrible day and its repercussions. The gospel singer, whose family called the superstar “Nippy,” has written a memoir, “Remembering Whitney,” and done an interview with Oprah Winfrey set to air on Monday on the OWN network in the US.
“My son called me and he was screaming, ‘Mom, Mommy,’ Cissy told Oprah in a snippet hosted by E! News, describing how she found out her daughter had passed on Feb. 11 of last year, the night before the Grammy Awards. “Then, oh God. I said, ‘What is wrong, what’s wrong?’ He just said, ‘Nippy. Nippy.’ I said, ‘What’s wrong with Nippy?’” “He said, ‘I don’t know, I can’t go back up there ... ,’” referring to the singer’s room at the Beverly Hilton, which had been cordoned off by police. “’They found Nippy.’ I said, ‘They found her what, what?’” Houston said. “And I was getting annoyed because he wasn’t telling me anything. “He said, ‘Mommy -- ‘ I said, ‘Is she dead?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, Mommy, she’s dead.’ And I don’t remember too much else after that.” Cissy was alone at the time of the call. “I was a wreck,” she said. “I was just a wreck.” Whitney Houston’s death was later determined to be an accidental drowning, though she did have cocaine in her system.
The elder Houston told People that her granddaughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of Whitney and Bobby Brown, has taken her mom’s death hard. “She’s not handling it good,” the 79-year-old told the magazine. “None of us are.” She added, “Of course I worry about her. Bobbi Kristina is 19, and if you know anything about a 19-year-old, they think they know it all. It doesn’t mean that she is going to follow her [mother’s] same path. She could, but anybody could. I don’t want to jinx her. I’m trying to make sure she doesn’t.” Winfrey also talked to Whitney’s older brother, Michael Houston, who according to ET Online reveals the origin of Whitney’s drug use. Bobbi Kristina’s dad isn’t thrilled about the new memoir, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. In it, Houston said of Brown, “He didn’t help her, that’s for damn sure.” “Her relatively low opinion of him doesn’t come as any surprise,” a Brown business associate told the paper, “but he doesn’t like the overall tone of the book, which he thinks is Cissy’s way of trying to assuage her conscience about not doing enough to prevent Whitney’s death.” Sounds like the relatively low opinion is mutual?