The mother of the late Whitney Houston, Ms. Cissy Houston, talked with the TJMS this morning about her new book “Remembering Whitney”, the truth behind BeBe WInans’ book, her concern for Bobbi Kristina and more.
Read the full transcript of the interview below.
TOM JOYNER: Good morning, Miss Cissy Houston, how are you?
CISSY HOUSTON: I’m fine, how are you?
TOM JOYNER: I’m real good. I’m real good.
CISSY HOUSTON: Good.
TOM JOYNER: Your book, Remembering Whitney, I’ve seen Oprah’s interview, and I’ve seen some other interviews, and I have the book but, Miss Houston, I’m going to have to wait till I have a vacation to read this book.
CISSY HOUSTON: I heard that.
TOM JOYNER: When I have time to, and I’ll have some beverages and some other things to get me through this.
SYBIL WILKES: Did you have to have something to help …
CISSY HOUSTON: I beg your pardon?
SYBIL WILKES: Did you have to have something to help you through? Were there difficult times and difficult portions of the book?
CISSY HOUSTON: I ain’t got nobody but Jesus, honey.
SYBIL WILKES: Really.
TOM JOYNER: Hmm. Hmm. Oh, you are so strong. You are one strong woman, Miss Cissy Houston, I don’t know how, I don’t know how you do it, how you wrote this book. I don’t know how you lived through all that.
CISSY HOUSTON: I don’t either.
SYBIL WILKES: And you said nothing but Jesus, right?
CISSY HOUSTON: Ain’t nobody but him, honey.
TOM JOYNER: Hmm, hmm, hmm.
SYBIL WILKES: So now how did you decide to, or who convinced you to write the book?
CISSY HOUSTON: Oh, nobody had to convince me. Not too many people can convince me of much.
SYBIL WILKES: (Laugh) Okay.
CISSY HOUSTON: You know, I just thought it was time. Before everybody else gets to it, right?
TOM JOYNER: Mm-hmm.
SYBIL WILKES: Mm-hmm.
CISSY HOUSTON: I think there were two more books out before I even came in.
SYBIL WILKES: Right. Now BeBe Winans was on and he wrote a book about Whitney and he said that he got your permission to do …
CISSY HOUSTON: No, he ain’t got no permission from me.
TOM JOYNER: Uh-oh.
CISSY HOUSTON: No.
SYBIL WILKES: Really?
CISSY HOUSTON: He just wrote a book and he just started telling that, but he told me about it, but I didn’t give no permission.
SYBIL WILKES: Would you have asked him not to?
CISSY HOUSTON: No, I didn’t.
SYBIL WILKES: No, I said, would you have if he had asked you for permission, would you …
CISSY HOUSTON: I don’t think so. I don’t know, you know. They were friends, I don’t know.
SYBIL WILKES: And he gave one side of the story, his side I guess. But you gave …
CISSY HOUSTON: Absolutely, it was his side.
SYBIL WILKES: You gave a pretty comprehensive, I mean, nobody knows their child like a mother obviously, or a father.
CISSY HOUSTON: Okay. Thank you. Say that again.
SYBIL WILKES: Yes, ma’am, and you, and nobody, and I don’t think anybody could tell the story the way you did. And you were brutally honest about Whitney in this book.
CISSY HOUSTON: Mm-hmm. Well, there’s no reason to drive at it, is there?
SYBIL WILKES: No, ma’am.
TOM JOYNER: I’m just wondering what you left out?
CISSY HOUSTON: I didn’t leave out too much of anything. She’s just a wonderful, wonderful person, and everybody that knew her, knew her, you know, she made mistakes like everybody else. She’s, it’s called life.
SYBIL WILKES: Yeah. Now you, there’s a line out there, there’s a line in the book that really struck me, and I’ve been reading it for the last couple of nights, and not good bedtime reading may I add, like Tom said, you need it with the lights on, that kind of thing. But you said that she could be a straight up heffer to people if they revealed things she didn’t want them to.
TOM JOYNER: That’s what she said?
SYBIL WILKES: Yeah, that’s brutally honest, Miss Cissy Houston.
CISSY HOUSTON: Absolutely.
SYBIL WILKES: And her life, and telling her story, as well as you story, which I found very interesting, and your family story, and how you guided her because you had been through the same thing. Was that a difficult thing when she said that she wanted to be in the business and you knew what she had to expect?
CISSY HOUSTON: No, it wasn’t difficult at all, because she started as a little girl, you know, just screaming around the house, because I had all the little microphones and mirrors and things like that, because with the Sweet Inspirations, we used to rehearse at my house. So she had all those facilities to deal with, you know? And she played with them more or less.
TOM JOYNER: Miss Cissy, what about Bobbi Kristina? Has she read the book? Has she commented on the book?
CISSY HOUSTON: No, she hasn’t because I tried to send it to her, and I couldn’t get her. You know. You know how 19 year olds are.
TOM JOYNER: Hmm.
SYBIL WILKES: And you said that you, you know, you’ve called her or sometimes she picks up your call and sometimes not, right?
CISSY HOUSTON: Right.
TOM JOYNER: Hmm.
SYBIL WILKES: Are you concerned about Bobbi Kristina?
CISSY HOUSTON: Of course I’m concerned, she’s my granddaughter. And I love her very much.
SYBIL WILKES: And if she is listening to you, what are you telling her?
CISSY HOUSTON: Call your grandmother.
TOM JOYNER: Aw. The book is called Remembering Whitney.
SYBIL WILKES: It’s truly touching, Tom. I’m telling you, this book is really quite enlightening, and it breaks my heart in some respects because I lost my mother many, many years ago, and I can imagine. But nobody’s supposed to bury their child.
CISSY HOUSTON: No, nobody. Nobody.
TOM JOYNER: Bless your heart, Miss Cissy.
SYBIL WILKES: God bless you.
CISSY HOUSTON: Thank you so much.
TOM JOYNER: You’re a very strong woman.
CISSY HOUSTON: And I appreciate you.