Whitney Houston is not anorexic, nor bulimic, nor a junkie with a six-figure drug habit. She is, however, addicted to "making love."
Such are the revelations from the embattled diva's prime-time interrogation by ABC News' Diane Sawyer--Houston's first major interview since being canned from the 2000 Oscars telecast, getting busted for pot, showing up at Michael Jackson's 2001 tribute concert looking a tad on the scrawny side and enduring a billion other scandals, including those inherited from bad-boy hubby Bobby Brown.
The interview is scheduled to air 9 p.m. (ET/PT) Wednesday on ABC's Primetime. The segment was taped November 8, the day after Brown's most recent drink-and-drug-related arrest, in the couple's Atlanta home. Because Brown was free on bail, he was able to offer his thoughts to Sawyer, as well.
Among Brown's revelations: The oft-arrested onetime R&B star is a "high-strung," "bipolar" person who smokes a joint "every now and then" in order to calm his nerves. (When asked by Sawyer why he just doesn't take Lithium, Houston piped in, "He was catatonic [on Lithium], you know?...His spirit was dead.")
To hear Houston and Brown tell it, despite rumors of their reputedly rampant drug use, neither of them takes much of anything these days. Oh, sure, they "partied," both concede, but that's behind them.
"I am not self destructive," says Houston. "I'm a person who has life, and wants to live."
"Me and drugs," says Brown. "We're not friends."
In the hour-long interview, Sawyer hammers Houston, 39, on seemingly every tabloid headline of the singer's last two troubled years. Houston gamely, if not always articulately, tries to defuse each controversy.
Of her gaunt appearance at Michael Jackson's 30th anniversary concert September 2001 in New York City that fueled death rumors, Houston admits she "hung out with some friends and...partied the week before" the show because "Aaliyah had died."
Of her continued non-plump appearance, Houston denies drugs or eating disorders are to blame. "I've always been a thin girl," she says. "I am not going to be fat--ever. Let's get that straight. Whitney is not going to be fat--ever. Okay?"
Of her no-show at the 2000 Oscars (where she was scheduled to perform, only to be replaced by last-minute sub Faith Hill), Houston, who at the time claimed a sore throat, now cops to being "fired from the gig," although she adds, "I really didn't want to do it anyway."
Of the $100 million lawsuit filed against her by her father's company, Houston blames her dad's ill health and unscrupulous business associate. "We'll work it out," she says, before quickly adding, "they'll never get $100 million out of me."
Of her reputed $730,000 drug habit, Houston says, "Come on! Seven-thirty?! I wish!"
Apparently realizing that answer didn't come out quite right, Houston adds, "I wish whoever was making that money off me would share it with me...I want to see the receipts. From the drug dealer that I bought $730,000 worth of drugs from. I want to see the receipts.
Houston does not pretend to be a drug novice, though. When Sawyer quizzes the singer on her vices--alcohol, marijuana, cocaine or pills--Houston says they've all been her vices, "at times."
When it comes to addiction, though, Houston says she does not "like to think of [herself] as addicted. I like to think...I had a bad habit."
Of the "few things," she admits to being addicted to, "making love" is the only one she names.
In a twist on the usual rehab story, Houston, who's new album, Just Whitney, comes out December 10, tells Sawyer she righted herself by herself. "I looked in my soul to see what was missing. And it was the spirit man that was missing," she says.
Fortunately, "the spirit man" returned once Houston "refueled" her "spiritual being." ("I put gasoline in that," she notes--a metaphor, we hope.)
Elsewhere, Bobby Brown, 33, uses the primetime spotlight to deny ever hitting his wife. ("I love the beauty of a woman," he says.) Houston, however, says she has hit her husband--out of anger.
We can only hope the spirit man understands.