MORE WHITNEY DRAMA : Was Bobby behind Tina’s tabloid tell all?
MORE WHITNEY DRAMA: Singer was hanging with 80s singer Cherelle. Both reportedly owe $17,000 in back rent. Was Bobby behind Tina’s tabloid tell all? Where is Bobbi Kristina?
*Where or where to begin in the “snow” balling story surrounding Whitney Houston’s sad state of affairs?
Days after Bobby Brown’s sister Tina gave pictures and personal accounts of Whitney’s crack addiction to the National Enquirer and The Sun tabloids, Fox411 entertainment columnist Roger Friedman has written of new details surrounding Whitney’s downward spiral, including the singer’s dire financial state and the whereabouts and welfare of her daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
Also, Cherelle of “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On” and “Saturday Love” fame is suddenly in the picture, having taken Whitney in for a period of time at her townhouse, Friedman reports.
According to Friedman, who has known Whitney since her “You Give Good Love” days, the entertainer is not only on crack, but dead broke “with no current income and huge expenses.”
Friedman says Whitney’s generosity was ultimately her financial undoing, as she has spent most of her earnings taking care of her own family and her husband’s. She her assets include a five-acre estate in posh Mendham, N.J., assessed in 2005 at $5.6 million; her current Alpharetta home, purchased in 2003 for $1.8 million, almost all of which was borrowed, writes Friedman.
“The Mendham property has become to Houston what Neverland is to Michael Jackson: a bank account against which she can draw loans,” Freidman writes. “Unlike Jackson, however, Houston does not have investments like the Beatles catalog to fall back on now that she’s in trouble. Public records show Whitney has borrowed millions of dollars and taken out many staggering mortgages in her time — enough to give Michael Jackson a run for his money.”
For some reason, Whitney left the Alpharetta crib last fall and moved in with Cherelle, but the two were recently evicted from Cherelle’s townhouse, reportedly for making too much noise, keeping the place dirty and failure to pay rent.
Friedman writes: “A local Atlanta lawyer told me that he recently had housemates Whitney and ‘80s pop star Cherelle (real name Cheryl Week Norton) evicted from the luxury townhouse he’d rented to the latter last fall. Houston’s name was not on the lease, but the landlord says she was living there and has witnesses to back him up.”
According to Freedman, the landlord claims the two ladies owe him about $17,000 in back rent and about $8,000 in damages for leaving the place a complete mess. “That includes carpets and furniture ruined by burn marks and broken windows,” Friedman writes.
“When the landlord went to speak to Houston about the noise and filth emanating from the townhouse, he told me the singer appeared ‘disheveled’ and her voice was gravelly. On the plus side: ‘She was very pleasant,’” writes Friedman.
According to sources Whitney and Cherelle abandoned the townhouse and moved into the Buckhead section of Atlanta, but Houston has since returned to her Alpharetta mansion, as has Bobby, after his own partying stint in Los Angeles, Friedman writes. “There, Brown told friends alternately that Houston was pregnant and that they were divorcing.”
Friedman, who calls Whitney’s disastrous fall from grace “the worst kind of show business tragedy,” says that Bobby Brown may have been behind Tina Brown’s decision to sell the story to the tabloids so that he could get a cut of her fee – which could be as high as $200,000, Freidman writes.
Ironically, sources say Whitney took care of Tina Brown’s children – all six of them – when Brown went into rehab herself. Houston’s friends tell Friedman that she always tried to keep Bobby’s relatives happy, even when she was at her worst.
“There are 30 members of the Brown family,” says an insider, “and they’ve all sponged off of Whitney.”
While her generosity and real estate expenses have contributed to her alleged financial ruin, Friedman says a huge factor also comes from receiving poor money advice throughout the years. Because Houston doesn’t write her own songs, she does not profit from the royalties provided by owning one’s own publishing, as do singer/songwriters Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Madonna. This is why Houston is reportedly broke despite all of her platinum-selling hit records.
“It’s kind of surprising that Houston fell into this trap,” writes Friedman. “She’s watched both her mother, Cissy Houston, and cousin, Dionne Warwick, neither of whom wrote their own hits, tour endlessly every year and work to keep up with their expenses. You’d think she would have learned something from their experiences. …Depending on just record sales to get her through bad times was a mistake. While Houston had many bestsellers, they are well in the past. Simply singing a hit record is not enough if you’re not going to save your money.”
As for Bobbi Kristina, she is reportedly staying with her Uncle Gary and Aunt Pat (Whitney’s brother and sister-in-law) close to Houston’s home in Atlanta. But Friedman believes that the Enquirer story will inevitably lead to an investigation by Child Protective Services in Alpharetta.
“If 50 percent of the [Enquirer/Sun] report is deemed true, Houston and Brown could easily lose their daughter for good,” Friedman writes. “One wonders if that will be enough of a wake-up call for the singer who once represented the best of America’s youth.”