Whitney Houston’s Tumultuous Final Days
First she first visited Brandy, Monica, and Clive Davis at rehearsals for the mogul's pre-Grammys party, where a Los Angeles Times reporter described her as reeking of alcohol, "visibly bloated," and "disheveled in mismatched clothes and hair that was dripping wet with either sweat or water." According to the Times, when Houston wasn't mugging and gesticulating wildly for Brandy and Monica — who were doing a media junket, as well as preparing a duet — she was alternately skipping around the lobby or "wandering aimlessly" around the Beverly Hills Hotel grounds. Reportedly, guests had even called security to report the singer doing handstands by the hotel pool.
Houston's Thursday was about to get worse… way worse. That evening, she attended a party headlined by Kelly Price at the Tru nightclub in Hollywood. As she exited, seeming intoxicated, photographers took close-ups of her legs, which appeared to be spotted with blood streaks, along with scratches on her wrists.
Wherever the blood and scratches came from, it wasn't from any publicly visible scuffle — although that had reportedly narrowly been avoided. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Houston got into a loud argument at the party with "X Factor" finalist Stacy Francis in the club's VIP section, shortly after they appeared on stage together. A source told THR that Houston got "belligerent" and that Houston's boyfriend, Ray J, actually stepped in to defend Francis' intentions. "Hands were raised" in anger, it was claimed.
Houston's final public performance happened at the club that night. It lasted just under a minute, as she sang "Jesus Loves Me" with Price in an impromptu, ramshackle duet captured by any number of videographers in the crowd. Perhaps needless to say, she wasn't in her very best voice for what turned out to be her swansong appearance.
Houston had a much quieter Friday and early Saturday, at least publicly, even as photos of a not-so-hot mess circulated around the web. Whether the singer knew she was the butt of jokes and dire speculation or was oblivious to it in her final hours is unknown.
Just two months ago, "Saturday Night Live" had spoofed the star as out-of-touch and out-of-it in a sketch where alumnus Maya Rudolph reprised her famous Houston impression. In the skit, a hyperactive Rudolph/Houston was brought in to give Miley Cyrus some drug counseling, bragging, "I've been clean and sober since 2013."
Coming to be regarded as a lush or addict in her last months had to be a harsh rebuke for someone who'd claimed to have cleaned up while attempting a comeback a few years earlier. But the events of the past year made it clear that, in contrast to celebrated redemption stories like Robert Downey Jr.'s, rehab hadn't really taken for Houston.