- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 2, 2003

Whitney’s past probed

New York Post

A new, unauthorized biography of Whitney Houston psychoanalyzes her transition from pop princess to pothead, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown, and tabloid rumors of a possible Sapphic relationship with former top aide Robyn Crawford.

In “Whitney Houston: The Unauthorized Biography” (Trafalgar Square), James Robert Parish examines tales in supermarket weeklies about Miss Houston’s relationship with Miss Crawford. (Both women have denied that they were ever romantically involved.)

“I believe that Whitney and Robyn were emotionally extremely close for many years,” Mr. Parish told the New York Post. “I can only speculate about a stronger type of relationship, but have no documented evidence.”

The book features interviews with unidentified sources close to the distressed diva, both professionally and personally.

Mr. Parish describes Miss Houston as “a great dramatic actress,” but says that if he were her manager, he’d find “a small, dramatic movie with a limited budget, so that her occasional absence from the set would not cause a huge financial loss.”

He also compares Miss Houston to another substance-abusing legend, Judy Garland. “Like Judy, Whitney possesses a huge reservoir of strength,” he said. “Despite recent setbacks, she can regain her true voice.”

Just what that true voice is remains unclear. Mr. Parish blames ex-Arista honcho Clive Davis for creating a gracious public persona for Whitney that contradicts her true nature. “She’s not the sweet, innocent prom girl he created,” Mr. Parish said. “She’s a fighter, she’s tough, and the public wouldn’t have approved of that when she first came onto the scene. By marrying Bobby Brown, she could finally be herself.”

No endless love

Associated Press

The wife of “Dancing on the Ceiling” superstar Lionel Richie filed for a separation Wednesday after nearly seven years of marriage.

Mr. Richie and Diane Alexander, a former dancer and clothing designer, were married in New York in 1996 after a long and sometimes tumultuous relationship.

The couple have a 9-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

Diane Richie cited irreconcilable differences in filing separation papers in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Richie’s representatives did not immediately return a call for comment.

Mr. Richie, 54, was an original member of “The Commodores” with solo hits that include “Truly,” and “Hello.” The couple’s relationship began when Mr. Richie was still married to his first wife, Brenda. In 1988, Brenda Richie was arrested for investigation of spousal abuse, trespassing and vandalism when she supposedly accosted her husband and Miss Alexander after discovering them together in a Beverly Hills apartment.

She was not prosecuted, and the couple remained together before divorcing in 1991.

Model couple

Associated Press

David Bowie and his supermodel wife, Iman, will appear in an ad campaign for designer Tommy Hilfiger’s new spring 2004 collection, H Hilfiger.

“David Bowie and Iman bring everything I’m looking for to represent this brand — music, style, elegance, creativity, sophistication — they’re a living testament to all that influences and inspires me,” Mr. Hilfiger said in a statement.

“David is not only a rock ‘n’ roll legend and a true artist, he’s also a style icon whose evolving look …has had a huge impact on the world of fashion and music.

“Iman, in addition to being the ultimate supermodel and a style icon in her own right, is the ideal woman: smart, entrepreneurial, chic, beautiful, ambitious and creative. Together they communicate the essence of the H Hilfiger lifestyle perfectly.”

The ad campaign will appear in select American men’s and women’s magazines in April 2004, the company said.

Pretty pricey pounds

New York Post

Weight Watchers is offering Renee Zellweger $3.2 million to shed the pounds she packed on for the “Bridget Jones’s Diary” sequel. The normally thin star would get $110,000 for every pound she drops if she endorses Weight Watchers before losing the lard, which she had no trouble doing after the first movie. The company also wants Miss Zellweger, who is netting $24 million for “Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason,” to appear in commercials when shooting finishes early next year.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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