Kevin Costner Explains Whitney Houston Addiction With Grace and Love

Kevin Costner
Kevin Costner arriving at the airport for Whitney Houston's funeral
I think we all knew the moment Kevin Costner stepped up to the microphone during Whitney Houston's funeral, everyone watching the live stream would be rapt. But it's the people who weren't tuning in today that most needed to hear what Houston's dear friend and one-time The Bodyguard co-star had to say.

It's the people who are writing Whitney off as another "crackwhore" (yes, I've seen that exact wording used) who lack a basic understanding of the addiction that did so much damage to such a great talent. They've forgotten that a person's mental health struggles are not the sum total of their lives. But as Costner told the crowd at the New Hope Baptist Church, people need to set aside sorrow and anger both for the sakes of Whitney's daughter Bobbi Kristina and mother Cissy Houston.

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Yes, even drug addicts have family who love and care for them. That alone is a measure of their worth.

But Whitney Houston had more than that. She had a great talent that both propelled her to great heights and put her in a spotlight that shined so bright it could blind you. Whitney suffered, as Costner explained, from "the inexplicable burden that comes with fame."

It was apropos that the man who convinced studio executives that she was the only one who could play singer Rachel Marron on film, and that he didn't give one whit about the color of her skin, would be the one to shed light on her fears and insecurities. She was already a verified pop star, but it's The Bodyguard and that song, I Will Always Love You, that helped propel Whitney to icon status. Kevin Costner had faith in her before she was there. He had more faith in her than she did in herself.

And although he never mentioned the drugs themselves -- leaving that to her producer, Clive Davis, who made more blatant references to his star's biggest downfall -- Costner's stories of a Whitney who wasn't sure she was "good enough" to be his co-star were a perfect counterbalance to the mean-spirited barbs that have dominated coverage this past week.

Whitney was a star, but people seem to have forgotten that she was a human being too. She had frailties and struggles, and sometimes she fell down. But that was just a part of who she was.

To understand addiction is to understand that the words Costner used today as he bid goodbye to his friend were most poignant because they were the kind of words that a person feeling like they're overwhelmed by their demons needs to hear again and again and again:

You weren't just good enough, you were great ... And people didn’t just like you, Whitney. They loved you.

Yes they did love Whitney Houston for everything that she was. If only more people could open their hearts up to love first, judge later, maybe the burden of fame would be a little less.

Did you realize how insecure Whitney Houston was despite the stardom?

 

Image via Splash News

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