One of Whitney Houston's former bodyguards has described working for her as being 'inside the hurricane', while another revealed that he never let the singer stay in the bathroom for long.
Whitney Houston. Pic/AFP
The singer, 48, was found dead in the bath of her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday. The security teams spoke as Houston's body was flown home and after Sir Paul McCartney left yellow roses among the fans' tributes at a shrine outside the hotel in Los Angeles.
One of the minders, Alan Jacobs, said he stopped working for the singer in 2002 after "seven years of ups and downs". "It was a life I could no longer bear to watch. It was like being inside the hurricane, in the eye, constantly fighting not to be pulled into the squall of chaos," the Daily Mail quoted Jacobs as saying.
"You can protect someone from most things, but in the end you can't protect them from themselves," Jacobs said. Another minder, who wished to stay anonymous, spent 12 years working for Houston, and said that during his team's time with her, she was not allowed to stay in the bathroom for any length of time alone.
"There would be a check on her every seven to 10 minutes to make sure that she was all right," the Daily Mail quoted him as saying. "The rule was showers only, and the team would time the showers, because this is the kind of thing we feared," he said.
Ann Blanchard, who was a bodyguard to Houston when her career was at its peak in the Eighties and Nineties, said the star was "a classy woman" whose life deteriorated after she married singer Bobby Brown in 1992. She said she told her friends Houston "likes bad boys and I'm afraid that's not going to be a good thing for her".
After a well-publicised battle against drugs and mixed reviews for her comeback tour in 2010, friends said Houston was "on a downward spiral". It is believed she accidentally overdosed on a lethal combination of alcohol, an unnamed sedative and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
Houston's body was flown back to her native New Jersey in a private jet early yesterday. In LA, Sir Paul McCartney arrived at the impromptu memorial outside the Beverly Hilton with his wife, Nancy Shevell. After leaving his posy he stood wistfully and blew two kisses to the sky. Sir Paul, 69, shook hands with fans, but politely brushed off attention, saying, "This is about Whitney, not me."