National Enquirer, 2/20/12

National Enquirer

Stars...they're just like us! Which means they occasionally like to indulge in juicy tabloid dirt as much as everybody else does.

Until they wind up on the cover, that is. People reports that shortly before her death, Whitney Houston suffered a meltdown in the Beverly Hilton Hotel gift shop over National Enquirer's cover, which claimed she'd collapsed.

But the seasoned diva couldn't really care that much what the goss rags said about her, could she?!

Apparently, she could. And she did.

"She's always been reacting and overreacting to things," a close pal of Whitney's (who knew the songstress through good headlines and bad) informs us. "For years. It's who she is. Or was."

So the last freak out was just par for the course, then?

People magazine claims (via gift shop sources) that Grammy-winning Ms. Houston went ballistic when she saw the tabloid report, cursing and saying, "What is wrong with these people? When did I collapse?"

Unfortunately, in retrospect, whether Whitney collapsed or not, the magazine's claims of trouble with the seemingly rehabbed lady (even sources and costars on her latest project, Sparkle, said Whitney was "in good shape") now seem kinda prophetic.

So what caused Whitney to overreact? Did the tabloid really hit home or was it something else (rumors of prescription drug use and its possible connection to her death have spread, though no toxicology report has yet been completed)?

"That's the diva, not just the drugs," our source clarifies. "She wanted people to know what she wanted people to know, not what they wanted to know."

Sadly, in her passing, people want to know more about her now than ever. Things we're sure she would have rather kept secret.

The Beverly Hilton gift shop would not confirm the People story, for the record.

—With Additional Reporting by Marcus Mulick

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