Whitney Houston's family share struggles in TV reality show

Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:30pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Making a TV reality show may not be the most obvious way to cope with the sudden death of a loved one, but most families don't count an icon like Whitney Houston among their relatives.

Less than a year after the "I Will Always Love You" singer drowned accidentally in a hotel bath tub after taking cocaine, Houston's teen daughter, her mother, brother and sister-in-law share with the world their struggle to cope in "The Houstons: On Our Own".

Difficult as that is, the Houstons say that making the 14- episode show for cable channel Lifetime has helped rather than hindered the process.

"The show has kept the family close together, (instead of) isolated from one another. We talk about things, we are very open, and we pay attention to the ones who need consoling the most. Doing the show certainly has helped in a huge way," Pat Houston, Whitney's manager and sister-in-law, told Reuters.

"There are preconceptions about the family that just aren't true. We are a strong family, a working family, and a typical family. Our family member just happens to be an icon," she added. "You will see a family that is grieving, that loves one another. You will see a family that is trying to move on."

The series, which makes its debut on Wednesday, sets the stage for a slew of November tributes to the troubled singer with the golden voice. Upcoming projects include an official glossy book of photos, a compilation album of Houston's biggest hits that features a new duet version of "I Look To You" with R. Kelly, and the November 16 TV broadcast of a special Grammy tribute starring Jennifer Hudson, Usher and Celine Dion.

Few of the many public salutes to Houston since her February death have touched on her well-publicized addiction to drugs and her tumultuous personal life. Yet the TV series delves into some of family's thorniest issues.


Pat Houston (L), sister-in-law of the late singer Whitney Houston, and Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina are shown in this undated publicity photograph from the new Lifetime cable channel reality series, "The Houstons: On Our Own" premiering on Lifetime October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Richard Knapp/Copyright 2011/Lifetime/Handout