Sideshow: Mom says Whitney was sick of showbiz

Posted: January 26, 2013

She was inspired to the music life by child star Michael Jackson. Yet when she finally had it all - fame, glory, riches - all Whitney Houston wanted to do was quit.

So writes Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston, 79, in Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped, a memoir due out Tuesday about the diva known as Nippy to her family.

"I remember Nippy watching television and seeing Michael Jackson doing his thing," Cissy writes. " 'Mommy,' she announced, 'I'm going to marry that boy. And I'm going to be a star.' "

Her fame had its costs: drug addiction and a miserable marriage to Bobby Brown.

"I'm angry she died alone, in those conditions," writes Cissy in an excerpt published by People. Her daughter died Feb. 11, 2012, in a hotel bathtub, of accidental drowning. She had a cocktail of drugs in her system.

"Was I a good mother?" Cissy asks in a chat with People. "I still wonder if I could have saved her somehow."

Perhaps if she had helped Whitney quit showbiz? "Nippy seriously considered walking away from it all," Cissy writes. "One time, she was looking out a window, and she said, 'You know, I never asked for this madness. I couldn't have imagined it.' "

Jennifer Lopez's happiness

One mega-diva, it seems, has evaded Whitney's demons. "I'm happy," Jennifer Lopez tells USA Today as part of an aggressive P.R. campaign mounted solely, or so it seems, to show just how cheerful, chipper, chirpy, content, contented, convivial, delighted, ecstatic, elated, exultant, glad and gleeful she is. "I'm happy. I'm happy with me," she says. Her beau, Casper Smart, is one reason to be glücklich. Her art is another cause for bonheur. "I'm surrounded by love and goodness. That's what I want. I just want to be happy and be fulfilled creatively," says J-Lo. "Overall, I just want to be happy, me and my kids."

More misfortune for Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan's last solid job, TV pic Liz & Dick, did a Hindenburg the night it premiered. She's in debt, she faces jail time, and this week she was dumped by her lawyer because of her erratic behavior. Now comes word LiLo's new pic,     Paul Schrader's The Canyons, was turned down by the Sundance Film Festival (it was called a "monstrosity," Perez Hilton says). It's also been rejected by Texas' South by Southwest fest due to "quality issues." Ouch.

Ent-industry business news

French dancer-choreographer Benjamin Millepied, 35, who introduced movie fans to stunning balletic grace in Black Swan, was named director of the Paris Opera Ballet on Thursday. Millepied, whose name, appropriately enough, translates roughly as "a thousand feet," has a son, Aleph Portman-Millepied, with wife Natalie Portman, star of Black Swan.

Saved by the Bell fans may yet see a reunion episode. Dennis Haskins, who played the principal, tells TMZ he'd sign up. Star Mark-Paul Gosselaar last week said he'd consider it. Last year Jimmy Fallon tried, but failed, to get a reunion show going. Maybe it'll happen this time.

Young NYC rapper takes the charts

Harlem-raised hip-hop singer and video director A$AP Rocky ( Rakim Mayers), 24, used a popular mixtape to win a record contract. Now he's turned it into a mega-hit. Long.Live.ASAP sold 139,000 units last week, its debut week, to take No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Compilation LP Kidz Bop 23 debuted in second place with 78,000 sales, according to Nielsen SoundScan, while the Pitch Perfect movie soundtrack is at No. 3 with 45,000.

Taylor Swift's dark night of the soul

She may have left a long, star-studded list of ex-beaus in her wake, but serial dater Taylor Swift, 23, is no gallivanting Don Juanita. Us Weekly says she was deeply hurt, demoralized, and shaken to the core by her breakup earlier this month with her boyband One Direction boyfriend Harry Styles, 18, whom she dated after a romantic pitstop chez young Conor Kennedy, 18. Worse, it seems her bff status with Selena Gomez has been suspended.

"She feels like a loser in love," Anonymous Insider tells Us Weekly, "and doesn't have many friends anymore."

Paula Dean: Lemons into lemonade

Cooking mogul Paula Dean says she understands why so many folks felt betrayed when it was revealed that the butter-cream-fat-bacon-happy chef secretly was being treated for diabetes. "I'm sorry it took so long to finally admit that there was a flaw in my body," Dean, 66, tells People. "It's hard to believe, but diabetes has been a blessing." It made her reevaluate her life and discover the joys of low-fat (and low-Paula Dean) cooking. "When I first found out I was diabetic, I had no solutions. I couldn't even help myself, much less somebody else," says Dean. She worked at it, and a year later she's healthier - and 40 pounds lighter. Dean says she didn't have to give up her passion for Southern food.

All she had to do, she says, was learn "moderation, moderation, moderation."

Tidbits 'n' pieces

Reggae man Shaggy claims reports he was killed in a bar fight earlier this week are inaccurate. . . . Biggest Loser couple Stephanie Anderson and Sam Poueu are expecting. . . . Korean sensation Psy may be sick of talking about his YouTube hit, "Gangnam Style," as he recently said, but YouTube owner Google is over the moon: The vid, which has been viewed more than 1 billion times, has generated $8.1 million in advertising deals for the company.


This article includes information from Inquirer wire services. Contact "SideShow" at sideshow@phillynews.com.

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