For decades, as the world watched Whitney Houston crash and burn, reduced to a fraction of her former stardom because of her debilitating addiction to crack cocaine, many fans placed the blame squarely at the feet of her ex-husband Bobby Brown. But in a revealing interview with Oprah Winfrey, Whitney’s older brother, Michael Houston, admits that he is the one who introduced his sister to drugs in the ’80’s — and he’s lived with the guilt ever since.
“I feel responsible for what I let go so far,” he told Oprah in an exclusive interview on Oprah’ s Next Chapter. ‘”We were always, you know, being together most of the time, and her following behind me — I taught her to drive. We played together — everything that you do together as you’re growing up — and then when you get into drugs, you do that together too, and it just got out of hand.”
“So was the first time she tried freebasing cocaine, or cocaine, crack, whatever … are you the one who introduced it to her?” Winfrey asked pointedly.
“I would say, yeah, we did everything together, so once I was into that, then she followed suit,” Michael said quietly.”
“I think probably the first time we ever, she ever did it was probably, you know — but you gotta understand, at the time, the ’80s, it was acceptable…. In the entertainment industry it was just like, available. It wasn’t like a bad word like it is now. You know what I’m saying? We didn’t know. We just didn’t know.”
See Oprah’s Next Chapter clip with Michael and Cissy Houston below: