Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Clive Davis’s Pleading Letter to Whitney Houston, September 2011


Here’s the full text of Clive Davis’s letter to Whitney Houston after her shocking appearance at Michael Jackson’s 30th anniversary show on September 7, 2001. Whitney was a skeleton. You couldn’t even call her gaunt. Everyone was upset. Whitney was so out of it that she skipped repeating her performance, which had been scheduled, on the following Monday, September 10th. The letter is one of two that appear in Clive’s just published “The Soundtrack of My Life” from Simon & Schuster.


Dearest Whitney: When I saw you Friday night at the Michael Jackson concert I gasped. When I got home, I cried. My dear, dear Whitney, the time has come. Of course I know you don’t want to hear this. Of course I know that you’re saying that Clive is being foolishly dramatic. Of course I know that your power of denial is in overdrive dismissing everything I and everyone else is saying to you.

But I know somewhere down deep there is the real you that knows that you are being confronted this time by everyone who loves you, who cares for you and who wants you well. You are now being begged by these same people who know that this problem is bigger than you can deal with alone. I join your mother in pleading with you to face up to the truth now, right now, and there is no more time or postponement. You must think not only of yourself but you must think of those who love you. Our anguish, our fear, our pain is just too much to bear. You must get help for yourself and for your close extended family.

Whitney, our lives intertwined almost twenty years ago. You learned to trust me even when you had doubt, and professionally you soared with your God given talent and genius to all time heights. Now, I reach out personally and I ask you to trust me. I ask you to trust me in blind faith. You need help and it must begin now. I will stand by you with love and caring to see you through it to new found peace and happiness in every way as a woman, as a mother, as a role model to inspire the rest of the world. Love, Clive.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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