WHITNEY HOUSTON: REELZ CELEBRITY LEGAL SERIES: LIFE, DEATH & MONEY
Reprinted from OK! Magazine USA; click here to read the original article.
Whitney Houston and her family’s tragic story are headlines again as a part of the REELZ celebrity legal series Life, Death & Money. After Houston’s fatal drug overdose, rumors swirled of her having left behind enormous debt. The circumstances surrounding daughter Bobbi Kristina’s own overdose only three years later led to attempted murder accusations, lawsuits and family fights. On June 17, the docuseries gets to the bottom of Houston’s story.
Fifteen turbulent years after Houston was married to singer Bobby Brown, she determined that he was not her greatest love of all; the couple was divorced in 2007. The internationally acclaimed pop diva and actress was in the midst of a career revival in 2012. Her latest film, Sparkle, was about to wrap, she was working on her sobriety, and was eager to make new music. However, on the eve of what was supposed to be her comeback performance at the 2012 Grammy Awards, Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room at 48.
Despite an autopsy that revealed the star’s death as being the result of an accidental drowning, there has always been much speculation about the truth. Cocaine use and heart disease were listed as contributing factors. The death of the six-time Grammy winner and 26-time nominee was a shock for everyone convened at Clive Davis’ traditional pre-Grammy party.
Houston’s estate was thought to be enormous, as it included her music publishing, bank accounts and movie revenue. Her will outlined her final wishes for her only child, Bobbi Kristina.
“The will that went through the probate court was actually a will from 1993,” says TV host and estate lawyer Danielle Mayoras in the docuseries. “She never updated the will after her divorce from Bobby Brown. This is a big no-no.”
According to Life, Death & Money, it was suspected that Bobbi Kristina would be Houston’s primary heir. But would she be the heir to crippling debt?
Reports indicated that the late star actually died $20 million in debt. It would take almost one year to restore her estate and many believed Bobbi Kristina would be taken care of thereafter. According to REELZ, a spike in sales after Houston’s death paid off her debts and created another $20 million in net worth for the estate.
“We know Bobby Brown was living off of Whitney Houston during her lifetime, so the concern was he might then go after Bobbi Kristina’s money,” says Mayoras.
In a horrific turn of events, Houston’s daughter would suffer an almost identical fate as her mother three years later, overdosing in a bathtub and ending up on life support. This would put the Houston estate in limbo once again.
“People started to speculate that Bobby Brown might have a hand in some of the fortune,” says entertainment journalist Kiyra Lynn in the docuseries.
According to the startling new docuseries, fans and family were distraught by this; members of Houston’s inner circle blame Brown for her troubles through much of her life.
Learn more about the ensuing heated decisions over Houston’s care, money and legacy in Whitney Houston: Life, Death & Money on June 17 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on REELZ.
Watch REELZ on DIRECTV 238, Dish Network 299, Verizon FiOS 692, AT&T U-verse 1799 and in HD on cable systems and streaming services nationwide. Find REELZ on your local cable or satellite provider at www.reelz.com.
Read more from our coverage of Whitney Houston:
Answering Questions about Whitney Houston’s Millions and Bobbi Kristina’s Death
Celebrity Legacies: Whitney Houston No Stranger to Estate Trouble
Whitney Houston’s Will: Whitney Houston’s Family Doesn’t Trust Bobbi Kristina’s Ability to Handle Money
Whitney Houston Denies She’s Broke; Wins Lawsuit vs. Step-Mom