On Thursday, the L.A. County coroner’s office released a report stating that Whitney Houston died by accidental drowning. It also noted Whitney had used cocaine immediately prior to her death and had taken a mix of prescription and over-the-counter medications as well. While the late singer’s family issued a statement saying they were “saddened to learn the toxicology results,” Whitney’s former sister-in-law, Leolah Brown, unleashed a conspiracy theory, saying she believed Whitney died from a “bad bag” cocaine, one possibly given to her by none other than Ray J. Ray J has strongly denied the claims.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke exclusively with Dr. Morteza Khaleghi, PhD, founder of the Creative Care Center in Malibu and the author of The Anatomy of Addiction, about the coroner’s ruling — and whether or not Whitney’s former sister-in-law’s claims could possibly hold true.
Wetpaint Entertainment: Based off the toxicology results, which show Whitney Houston not only used cocaine the day of her death, but also had a heart condition caused by chronic cocaine use, do you believe she ever truly stopped using drugs? Was she ever clean?
Dr. Khaleghi: I tend to believe that, no, she never fully stopped or ever really got sober. I think she had a very difficult time admitting she was an addict. And I think her family and those around her were in massive denial as well.
I mean, here’s someone who is not only using cocaine, she’s also taking a prescription and over-the-counter medication in combination with it. The fact that there was no one monitoring her — that she was just allowed to be alone and take a bath like a normal person — shows how much everyone around her was not willing to believe this was somebody in real trouble.
What do you think about the fact she had been taking Xanax and another other prescription muscle relaxer?
I don’t know how she got it, if she got it illegally or she ordered it online or what. But if a doctor prescribed it to her, it was done so very, very irresponsibly. Someone with her history of addiction — a well-known, well-documented history, for that matter — should never be given a prescription for those kinds of drugs. A responsible doctor would know that. If those drugs were prescribed to her, there should be an investigation.
What do you think about her former sister-in-law’s theory that Whitney was just given a “bad bag” of cocaine and that was the reason for her death?
A statement like that is just so ignorant. It just goes to show how bad the denial in that family is. First of all, there’s no such thing as a “good bag” or a “bad bag” of cocaine.
Second of all, listen to what the coroner’s report is saying. This is a woman who was so loaded, she likely couldn’t keep her head up in the bathtub and didn’t even realize that she was underwater! And there was no one around her intervening. That’s the reason she died. I understand there’s a legacy to protect, but the people around just doing such a disservice by not being honest about what really happened.
I’m sorry to say it, but when it comes to Whitney’s family, it’s the worst case of enabling — and denial — I’ve ever seen. It’s a real tragedy.