The story arch of a troubled A-lister celebrity is becoming all too predictable these days, it seems. Rise to fame, stretch of superstardom, erratic behavior, tabloid drama, rehab stint, death ... family tell-all. Sadly, it didn't take Whitney Houston long to achieve all seven of these milestones, because Cissy Houston has just announced a book deal with HarperCollins for an "unabridged" memoir about her daughter's life.
It's being promoted as a searingly honest, respectful tribute to "Whitney’s brightest and darkest moments," but however good her mother's intentions may be, there's no denying the fact that this particular memoir will mine Whitney Houston's private life for public consumption—and you can't help but wonder if she would have wanted that.
In a statement released by HarperCollins, Cissy Houston said,
When I lost my daughter Nippy, the world lost one of the most beautiful voices and an extraordinarily beautiful and charitable woman. In sharing our story in this book, I hope to give her fans something to treasure, the way we all treasured Whitney. We are still receiving thousands of letters each day from her fans, and I hope reading this book will provide a deeper understanding into my daughter's true story.
HarperCollins is spinning the book as an "unabridged and unbelievable story" written with "candor, honesty and respect”—and drops some some pretty big hints that it'll delve into Houston's drug problems and her marriage to Bobby Brown.
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Financial terms haven't been disclosed, but the AP claims Cissy Houston's book deal could be worth seven figures—and I believe it. This thing will sell like crazy. Once it's out, the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark (where Whitney Houston sang as a child and where her funeral was held) will likely start planning some renovations, because a portion of the book's proceeds are heading their way.
I guess this might be a chance for Whitney's mom to set the story straight, although the only person who can really share her story is no longer here to tell it. I can understand the desire to control Whitney's legacy and possibly change some misperceptions, but it's only been a few months since Whitney Houston was found in that hotel bathtub. You know that once the book is out, the media will cherry-pick the juiciest parts in order to trumpet her "darkest moments" all over again.
I suppose writing a book might be therapeutic for Cissy Houston in some ways, but it seems to me like there's something to be said for allowing someone—particular someone who's had unwanted public attention for years—to rest in peace.
What do you think about the idea of Whitney Houston's mom writing a tell-all memoir about her daughter?
Image via Flickr/asterix611