After being thwarted in a suicide attempt in a London hotel room, R&B singer Houston gouged his own eye out.
On Thursday Houston attempted to jump out of a 13th-floor hotel window but was stopped by his security personnel, sources close to the singer said. He was moved to a lower floor and locked in his room, where he injured himself. Additional details are still coming to light, and photographs of his injury are circulating online.
The Los Angeles native, born Houston Summers IV, was overseas for a series of performances when the incident occurred. He scored a hit last year with "I Like That," which featured Chingy and Nate Dogg and was used in a McDonald's commercial (see "Houston Scores Club Hit With Help From Chingy, Nate Dogg"). His debut album, It's Already Written, was certified gold a month after its release in August.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Houston during this tragic time," a Capitol Records spokesperson said.
Los Angeles radio station KKBT-FM's K-Sly, who appeared in the "I Like That" video and is close to Houston's camp, said the singer had been under psychiatric care last year for manic depression. Another source corroborated that claim, adding that Houston had also struggled with PCP.
"I was told he wanted to commit suicide and stabbed his eye out," K-Sly said. "He was telling people he was Jesus and wanted to go home to his Father" (see "Bodyguard: Houston 'Happy,' Closer To God After Gouging Eye").
The singer is now back in Los Angeles.
Upon hearing about Houston, Bushwick Bill of rap group the Geto Boys felt compelled to speak out. In 1991, Bill forced his girlfriend to assist him in a suicide attempt, and she shot him in the eye. "Fame will make you crazy," Bill said in a statement. "Fame isn't for everybody. There are people who have a fear of fame, those who want fame, and those who don't understand fame. It drives them crazy, because it is a lot of responsibility to be all things to all people, and you can lose yourself in the shuffle, where there are no longer 52 cards in the deck."