The second portion of Whitney Houston's sit-down interview with Oprah Winfrey aired on Tuesday (September 15) and, in addition to opening up more about her marriage to Bobby Brown and her issues with substance abuse, she also spoke candidly about how she reacted to the news of Michael Jackson's death.
"Devastating," Houston told Winfrey. "I have so many good memories of spending time with him. I've known his family for so many years that I thought, 'It can't be true.' "
Houston said that she was aware of his troubles over the years and even heard about his painkiller addiction at one point. "I knew he was on painkillers at one time ... I didn't know how far and how deep it was," she recalled.
She said that performing with him at his 30th-anniversary special in 2001 opened her eyes — she saw him as a "mirror" because he reflected her own problems with addictions. "I just remember doing the anniversary special and I remember looking at Michael and I remember looking at myself and I was getting scared looking at him," she said. "I was looking at myself. I don't want it to be like this. Mike and I were very close."
That concert was the last time that Houston remembers seeing him, but she does note that the pair stayed in touch over the years via the phone. "I think it was that time [that I saw him last], but I spoke to him during the trial a lot. He would speak to me on the phone, but he didn't want me to see him," she said. "[It] saddens me."