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CASTING CORNER
 
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
What's Happened to Whitney?

After years of bizarre behavior, Whitney Houston confirmed what her fans have long suspected -- she has a problem with drugs and needs help. The Grammy-winning singer’s publicist has confirmed that Houston has checked herself into a drug rehab facility.

People magazine Assistant Managing Editor Peter Castro says something dramatic must have happened for Houston to take this action. "The world has been waiting for this for a very long time," Castro tells us.

Houston’s publicist would only tell "Extra" that Houston "thanks everyone for their support and prayer."

We've also learned that Houston has laid off some of her management people, since she will be out of action "indefinitely."

In January 2001, Houston left a bag allegedly containing a small amount of marijuana at a Hawaii airport, which led to a petty misdemeanor drug charge -- later dismissed after a counselor assessed Houston as not requiring substance abuse treatment.

In December 2002, Houston appeared on "Primetime" in a bizarre interview with Diane Sawyer. If the idea was to convince everyone she was clean, it didn't work. During the interview, Houston told Sawyer, "First of all, let's get one thing straight -- crack is cheap, I make too much money to ever smoke crack."

Houston did admit to having abused drugs but maintained that with prayer she had gotten beyond that time.

Houston's odd public behavior has gone on for years. During some of her husband, singer Bobby Brown's court appearances, Whitney appeared to be talking to herself. And we caught her singing to herself once outside of court. Then last year, there was her tearful visit to a sect in Israel.

The drug rumors grew even more last year when Kevin Skinner, a former drug dealer told "Dateline NBC," "Have I seen Whitney Houston use drugs? Yes, I have."

Bobby Brown is now in jail for allegedly hitting Houston. So who will take care of the couple's 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina? Castro answers our question: "Cissy Houston, her mother, is always there for her and she’ll probably take over caring for Kristina."

But for now, Houston is fighting to save her career, her family, and most of importantly -- herself.

EXTRA BYTES
EXTRA WHITNEY
Bobby Brown heads to jail
Whitney visits her father for the last time
Houston talks to Essense magazine
Whitney’s new song
Houston back on state
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