In the days before her interview with Whitney Houston aired, Oprah Winfrey said it was her best interview ever.
Having seen part one, I'm not so sure.
I'm not saying that Oprah did a bad job. Oprah, I think, is a pro with celebrity interviews. She has this way of questioning people that is direct but not confrontational, warm but not cuddly, and she bores in to get her subjects to explain exactly what they mean, without the person feeling like they were interrogated.
But the truth is much of what Whitney said about her relationship with Bobby Brown in this first part was obvious, if you've been following the saga. Not much surprised me.
Whitney talked about being passionately in love with Bobby, that he allowed her to be her true self, rather than the princess Whitney image that had been created for her. Oprah concurred, saying after interviewing Bobby and spending one hour with him, she could feel his magnetism. (This begged a question Oprah didn't ask: If Whitney hated that princess image created by Clive Davis, why is she now working with Clive Davis again?)
There's no doubt that Whitney loved her some Bobby. I'll never forget when he got out of prison, one of those times, and she leapt into his arms, wrapping her legs around him, as if he had come home from war rather than yet another trifiling incident.
She said that things went bad between them after her career went to supernova level after "The Body Guard," that Bobby got jealous of her fame, and that she tried to compensate for his feelings by boosting him. Remember the 'I'm Mrs. Brown' phase, the insistence that Bobby was the real King of R&B? She said, too, that was why she did 'Being Bobby Brown' the reality show that revealed the freak show that was their lives. (And made everybody quote her "Hell to the no!' line)
I get that. A man has to have his own. Oprah seemed to get that too, which of course, made us all think about Stedman.
Oprah also had a strange lightbulb moment. She figured out that Whitney took her marriage vows seriously. I guess in Hollywood this is a bit of a stunner. Whitney said, too, that because so many people believed their marriage would fail, she and Bobby were determined to hang on. Yep, I could see that.
Whitney also showed, she's a round-the-way girl. She said Bobby didn't hit her because she had family that told him if he did, his body would never be found. She said she also hit back: “I was raised with two boys and I’ll fight you back. He slapped me once but I hit him over the head three times.” (Note: he slapped her another time too.) Bobby did spit on her once, though, which I think is a beat downable offense. She also talked about being glad she signed a pre-nup- she wasn't that in love.
But here's what seemed shady to me. Whitney seemed to say that Bobby was the source of her drug use, that she did it because they did everything together. “He was my drug. We were partners.”
She said she didn't drink like Bobby did (and he was, she said, a mean drunk -- totally believe that), but that they smoked coke laced marijuana cigarettes daily. And although she said it was rock cocaine, Ms. Whitney insisted it was not crack. I'm no expert, but isn't rock cocaine crack?
Just seems like there's a little denial going on there.
Then she said she knew it was over when Bobby started painting "evil eyes and faces all over the walls, floors and closets.” Wow.
I do think Whitney was trying to be fair to Bobby. She tried to speak carefully, especially in the beginning, and she said that while she doesn't care what he thinks now, there was more she could say. She spoke really kindly about their love and his support.
But here's the thing: I read this book by New York Times writer David Carr. He used nearly every drug under the sun,and so for his memoir he reported his life like a story. And he found out that nearly everything he remembered as truth wasn't accurate.
This is Whitney's truth. And there's Bobby's truth. And they were both high.
Tomorrow, Whitney performs (in a different wig) and Bobbi Christina talks.