I'm The One Who Hits, Whitney Houston Says

Posted: April 14, 1999

Whitney Houston says she's the aggressor in her marriage to Bobby Brown.

"Contrary to belief, I do the hitting; he doesn't. He has never put his hands on me. He is not a woman-beater," the singer and actress says in the May issue of Redbook. "We are crazy for one another. I mean crazy in love, love, love, love, love. When we're fighting, it's like that's love for us. We're fighting for our love." Brown's arrest history includes drunken driving and battery against women other than his wife.

Brown was sentenced in 1998 to five days in jail and a year on probation for drunken driving. On Monday, a judge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., put him back on probation for showing up drunk to do his time.

Houston concedes that her singer husband is "a party guy" who "likes to hang with his friends. He likes to dance with different people." But she says she knows he's loyal to her because "I checked him out when he wasn't even looking."

Accusation denied The widower of Tammy Wynette has denied allegations that he helped cause the country star's death.

George Richey and Wynette's physician, Wallis Marsh of Pittsburgh, are being sued by three of her daughters for $50 million. The daughters claim Richey and Marsh didn't monitor her medical condition closely enough and gave her too many painkillers.

Wynette died last April at her home. She was 55. Marsh ruled she died of a blood clot to the lungs. There was no autopsy.

"All of these allegations are totally false, without foundation, and that will be proven in a court of law," Richey said in a statement.

It was the first comment from Richey's side since the lawsuit was filed April 5. Marsh has also denied wrongdoing.

The dress Sophie Rhys-Jones has chosen a little-known designer to make the dress for her wedding to Prince Edward.

The design by Samantha Shaw, who set up her own salon only four years ago, will remain secret until the June 19 ceremony at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, Shaw's publicist said yesterday.

Shaw, 30, never advertises, and sells her work mainly at private fashion shows.

"It's a great choice," said Camilla Secil, social editor of Harpers and Queen magazine. "Sam makes very feminine clothes, very pretty and often layered. She uses very rich fabrics, hand-painting and beads. Those little touches are always absolutely perfect." Both Princess Diana and the Duchess of York, the former Sarah Ferguson, chose unsung designers to make their wedding dresses.

Gift to MIT The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will soon be $20 million richer, courtesy of Microsoft mogul Bill Gates.

The money will fund a new computer lab building to be named after Gates at the school's Laboratory for Computer Science, MIT president Charles Vest said yesterday.

"We're going to look back at how we're doing things today and we're going to view it as very primitive in 10 years," Gates, who dropped out of nearby Harvard, told about 500 people at MIT.

Gates has given $6.5 billion to his two charitable foundations since 1994. The foundations then give money to schools and other causes.

Song dedicated to refugees Pop star Michael Jackson's latest song is reportedly dedicated to the plight of the Kosovo Albanian refugees. All proceeds from the single "What More Can I Give?" will go toward helping the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanians who have fled or been driven out of their homes in Kosovo, Jackson told the London Mirror.

Xena: Warrior Mommy Xena's going to be a mother - again.

Lucy Lawless, star of the hit show Xena: Warrior Princess, is pregnant, she and husband Rob Tapert announced yesterday. The baby is due in October. Production is not expected to be affected by the pregnancy.

Lawless, 31, and Tapert, executive producer of the syndicated action show, married a little more than a year ago. She has a 10-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

Salman rocks Salman Rushdie, rock 'n' roll guy? The writer told students at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., in a rare public appearance why his new novel, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, uses the rock world as a backdrop.

"I'm the same age as rock 'n' roll. When I was 8 or 9 or 10, rock was in its infancy," Rushdie said Monday. "I remember Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis and the Drifters. When I was protesting the war in Vietnam, so was rock 'n' roll." Iran's now-deceased leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini condemned Rushdie to death in 1989, saying his novel The Satanic Verses blasphemed Islam. Iran announced last year that it was disassociating itself from the fatwa, or death sentence, but some hard-liners still threaten to kill him.

Locally connected Poet Sonia Sanchez presents an evening of poetry in honor of Sister Eleanor Rice, professor emeritus of Rosemont College, tomorrow at 7 p.m. in Rosemont College's Lawrence Auditorium. Sanchez's latest book is Shake Loose My Skin. The event is free. For information: 610-526-2967.

Henry Z. Steinway, 84, last surviving member of the Steinway family to have run the famous piano manufacturer, will be on hand today at Jacobs Music in Center City for the unveiling of the Steinway & Sons "Rhapsody Piano." The $175,000 piano celebrates George Gershwin's 100th birthday (a little belatedly, given that he was born Sept. 26, 1898) and also his first classical symphonic work, "Rhapsody in Blue," and its premiere in New York in 1924. The piano shimmers with hundreds of mother-of-pearl stars inlaid on its midnight-blue cabinet. Peter Nero, conductor of the Philly Pops, will be on hand at today's private reception. Those not invited can see and play the piano - with someone presumably to watch over you embraceable you - tomorrow and Friday at Jacobs Music at 1718 Chestnut St., by appointment. Call 215-568-7800. The piano can also be seen - but not played - at four upcoming Philly Pops concerts at the Academy of Music on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and April 25.

Tickets go on sale Friday for the Lenny Kravitz/Black Crowes concert on May 26 at the Blockbuster/Sony Music Entertainment Center.

And tickets go on sale Saturday for the July 17 concert featuring Bob Dylan and Paul Simon at the Blockbuster/Sony Music Entertainment Center. Tickets will be sold there as well as at all Ticketmaster outlets.

Lauren Hart will appear Saturday at 3 p.m. at Borders in Bryn Mawr. She'll perform songs from her CD Painted Bride, and will sign copies and answer questions after the performance.

Liz's loss is charity's gain The National Enquirer said it would donate some of the $500,000 it won in a legal battle with Elizabeth Taylor to AIDS charities, which are among her favorite causes. "We have nothing but respect for Elizabeth Taylor and her tireless work for charities," National Enquirer editor Steve Coz said. "We are happy to donate some of this money to her favorite cause." Taylor and then-husband Larry Fortensky filed a libel and slander suit against the tabloid in 1993 over a story that said he had threatened a neighbor in a real estate dispute. A judge dismissed the case and ordered Taylor to pay the tabloid more than $500,000 in legal costs.

Contributors to this report include the Associated Press, Reuters, the New York Times, the New York Post, the New York Daily News and the Washington Post.

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