Whitney Houston’s Daughter: When Kids Practice What Parents Teach
According to a story in the National Enquirer that has spread to slightly more reputable sources (including the “Today” TV morning news show in Melbourne, Australia), the singer’s 18-year-old daughter with Bobby Brown, Bobbi Kristina, is following her parents’ lead, hitting the town hard with a dangerous party cocktail that includes underage drinking and cocaine, her mother’s former drug of choice.
The good news for Houston, if you can call it that, is that the media have been too busy focusing on Japan and the increasingly strange antics of Charlie Sheen (which I still think is a part of an elaborate hoax by a very sane star desperate to remain the center of media attention) to giver her family woes more than a cursory glance, and the story has been simmering on the back burner for more than two weeks.
Normally, I take the National Enquirer’s tall tales with a very heavy grain of salt, and I’m still not sure what to do with some of its more outrageous Houston-related claims (such as the one from a few years ago that Bobbi Kristina was admitted to a psychiatric ward in Atlanta after trying to stab her mom during an argument and then attempting suicide), but in a very Miley Cyrus twist, it ran some incriminating photos of Bobbi Kristina mid-snort.
According to the publication’s sources, Houston and Brown have united to help their daughter, staging an intervention to get her to enter rehab. Bobbi Kristina, however, has firmly denied that she is going to rehab and says that she is perfectly healthy. That must sound scarily familiar to Houston, who denied for years that she was using drugs, and might be even tougher to hear than the news that her daughter is abusing because isn’t denial supposed to be the biggest part of the problem?
Further complicating matters, Houston and Brown can’t exactly use their own lives as a shining example of the benefits of choosing the straight and narrow path less travelled by celebrities. Dealing with a wayward child must be tough enough — poor Martin Sheen! — but it becomes uglier under the glare of the spotlight, when the parents have had their own messy well-publicized battles with substance abuse and other assorted demons. “Do as I say, not as I do” is even less convincing when the child can whip out headlines, news articles and a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey that paints you as the biggest hypocrite on the planet.
Ah, yes, Oprah Winfrey. I remember watching her interview with Houston last year and being impressed not only by how forthcoming Houston was about her marriage to Brown and her battle with drugs but also by how close she seemed to be with her daughter, with whom she shared a touching onstage moment at the end of the chat. Either that show of solidarity — against drugs, against an abusive ex-husband, against the world — was a perfectly staged lie, or things have fallen apart at a rapid clip.
And Bobbi Kristina isn’t done walking in her parents’ shoes. Apparently, she wants to be a singer, too. It took Houston years of stardom and several multi-platinum albums before she succumbed to the temptations of celebrity. Sadly, her daughter might be crashing before even taking off.
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