The world waited and hoped with bated breath for the results of Whitney Houston‘s toxicology results — and many people’s worst fears were realized when the L.A. Coroner’s office listed cocaine abuse as a contributing cause of death. Now Bobby Brown’s sister claims there is another cause, Houston’s companion Ray J, 31.
Last night on HLN’s Dr. Drew show, Bobby Brown’s sister, Leolah Brown, opened up about the newly released coroner’s report for Whitney Houston and said that she blames Ray J and Pat Houston for the singer’s death.
During the segment, Leolah claimed that Ray J was Whitney’s “runner boy” for cocaine.
“When I first heard she passed away I said ‘my God, somebody gave her a bad bag.’ I promise you that was the first thing that came out of my mouth. And then I saw Ray-J and it all added up. So I am going to believe that Ray J was, like she said, was a ‘runner boy.'”
Brown also claims that her suspicions intensified when she saw photos of Ray J snapped outside of the Beverly Hilton hotel on the night that Whitney died. The “Sexy, Can I?” singer allegedly had his head down, shying away from the paparazzi, which Brown claims is unusual for him.
Brown goes on say that she finds it unbelievable that Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law and manager, did not know that Whitney was still doing cocaine, as she claimed in her interview with Oprah Winfrey. Though Pat did say drugs were no longer an issue for Whitney, she also suggested that Ray J was to blame for her downward spiral, saying that the superstar was “looking for love in all the wrong places.”:
The dream she [Whitney] was chasing was younger” said Pat on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” “In my opinion a young man that’s thriving and loved to be out and about. And you’re dealing with an older woman who’s at home and just looking for the love and comfort.”
As previously reported by Newsone, another man may lie at the center of this tragedy. Raffles van Exel, who Whigham Funeral Home sources claim snapped the picture of Whitney in her casket and sold it to the National Enquirer, has also been accused by various sources of supplying her with drugs. The Hollywood con-man also latched on to Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, and the late Ray Charles, who all at one point also abused drugs.
Forbes Magazine writer, Roger Friedman, reports that Van Exel, in addition to selling the picture of Whitney’s bathtub, also stands accused of selling fake pictures to TMZ. The image of “Whitney” on the gurney with a white sheet pulled over her is, in fact, Bobbi Kristina:
A person who was in the hallway (see picture) tells me the “body” under the white sheet was Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s daughter. She was taken to Cedars Sinai Hospital twice after her mother died. Bobbi Kristina wrapped the sheet over her head so as not to be seen. Unfortunately, when Whitney’s body was removed from the hotel much later, it was not under a sheet, but in an official coroner’s body bag.”
Though Pat Houston now claims that she was first person to find Whitney, reports have shifted wildly from Ray J, to Pat’s brother Ray, Whitney’s security guard, to the hairstylist, and reports continue to circulate that it might actually have been Van Exel.
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Friedman claims that attendees at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party — which took place while Whitney’s body was still in the hotel — claims that Van Exel showed up with Whitney’s tickets to the event in hand:
Despite the shock of Whitney’s death, Raffles still made it downstairs to Clive Davis’s party. He was dressed in formal wear, had Whitney’s tickets in his hand, and intended to sit at her table. Just inside the ballroom he was comforted by celebrities to whom he related his story—“I found Whitney.” Gayle King hugged him. Quincy Jones listened patiently to his story. A security guard told me later, “Well, he was up there.”
Though the details surrounding Ray J, Raffles van Exel, and Whitney’s drug abuse are murky at best, it is clear from the 2009 video below that the two are indeed friends:
Whether it was “love” as Pat Houston suggests or “running cocaine” as Leolah Brown accuses, one thing is certain, members of Whitney Houston’s family are not fond of Ray J, who tells TMZ that the accusations are “absolutely B.S.” and that he had “no knowledge” that Whitney was still using cocaine. He also released the following statement through his attorney to E! News:
Though Leolah Brown was nowhere near the Beverly Hilton hotel on the day Whitney Houston died, [HLN's parent company] CNN proceeded to broadcast an interview with Ms. Brown in which she falsely claimed that Ray J was at the hotel and contributed to Whitney Houston’s death.
“Even the most minimal inquiry with anyone actually in contact with Whitney would reveal that Leolah Brown had been out of contact with Whitney for more than a year and was nowhere near the scene on the day of her death.”
The musician’s lawyer has urged media outlets “not to republish these defamatory stories” and warned of legal action should they proceed to do so without verifying the truth.
Though it saddens the world to say good-bye to such an icon, and innuendo and accusations are bound to fly for some time in the midst of heavy grief, ultimately, Whitney Houston was a grown woman who made her own decisions. Ray J, Pat Houston and Raffles van Exel, can — and should be — held accountable if it is ever determined that they enabled her habit, but no one can be blamed for her choices.
May she rest in peace.