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Jane Velez-Mitchell

More Details Emerge in Whitney Houston`s Death

Aired February 14, 2012 - 19:00   ET


JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from Hollywood. Up next, secrets and sadness as Whitney Houston`s family struggles to bury their daughter. Plus, brand-new information about the superstar`s final days. Did we see this coming? And who could have prevented it?

Tonight, as the world grieves for Whitney Houston, new secrets revealed about her private life. The soulful singer`s former bodyguard says there were strict rules limiting Whitney`s time alone in the bathroom. Tonight, we`ll analyze how to help the famous and those not so famous struggling with addiction. And we`ll take your calls.

Then, more dramatic testimony in the trial of a husband accused of murdering his beautiful pregnant wife. In public, they looked like the perfect couple, but witnesses say Jason Young`s marriage was in free fall behind closed doors. We`ll take you inside the courtroom.

Plus, it`s Valentine`s Day, and we asked you to share your money- saving up-cycle art, made from stuff that`s thrown away. We`re going to show you our viewers` favorite creations.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Your love is my love and my love is your love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Your love is my love and my love is your love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Your love is my love and my love is your love.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I remember being so proud, you know, just so proud, you know, of both her singing and her acting.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Whitney Houston will be remembered as much for her personal demons as her success.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation into Miss Whitney Houston`s death is ongoing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A lot of different speculation concerning her history of drug abuse, alcohol issues.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tragedy. Such a talented human being. She set the standard for a bunch of singers right now, and she`s gone. It`s sad.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I love the lyric. I love what it said. I knew how I could interpret it, and I knew if I sang it, it would come from my heart.

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: What a tragedy. What a terrible, terrible tragedy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Let the children`s laughter remind us how we used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Let the children`s laughter remind us how we used to be.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (singing): Let the children`s laughter remind us how we used to be.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was there when they were singing at the hotel, and actually shot that with my cell phone.

Tonight, as we mourn the death of superstar Whitney Houston and her family prepares for her funeral on Saturday, new secrets are emerging about Houston`s long struggle with drugs. A former bodyguard has come forward, saying in the past, Whitney Houston was monitored, especially when bathing and using the bathroom.

He spoke to Allison Samuels from "Newsweek." Listen to this from "Good Morning America."


ALLISON SAMUELS, "NEWSWEEK": They didn`t want her to stay in the bathroom for long periods of time. He didn`t understand how they could have allowed her to be in the bathroom for an hour. They would check on her every seven to ten minutes. They timed the showers to make sure she got out at a certain time, because this is what they feared. Something tragic would happen in the bathroom when she was away from everyone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Good evening, everyone. I`m Jane Velez-Mitchell, coming to you live from Hollywood, California.

Whitney Houston, found dead, as we all know, Saturday in the bathtub, at her suite at the Beverly Hilton. We still don`t know exactly what killed her. Toxicology reports will not be back for weeks, but we do know Whitney battled addiction, having gone to rehab for at least the third time, less than a year ago.

And tonight, "People" magazine is reporting that Whitney was seen all over the Beverly Hilton, reportedly friendly and in good spirits, but some say she was a little off.


CARLOS GREER, REPORTER, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: She was acting erratically. She appeared at a rehearsal for Brandy and Monica, and she was complaining and ranting about a blue dress. She was saying, "I don`t want no blue dress." She was twitching her nose, and she was really fidgety.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Are those all red flags of somebody who was not sober, hoping for some privacy. Houston`s family canceled plans for a public memorial. An invitation-only funeral will be held Saturday at Houston`s favorite church in New Jersey.

So we`re asking tonight, with a team of experts and recovering addicts, addiction specialists, how did this amazingly talented superstar end up here? What could we learn from it? How did this entertainer who once earned millions lose so much?

And before everybody blames her ex-husband, bad-boy singer Bobby Brown, listen to what singer Jennifer Holiday told CNN`s Piers Morgan.


JENNIFER HOLIDAY, SINGER: Well, I can say this, that we were all around a lot of drugs. And that she had -- I hate to say that she had started before she had met Bobby Brown.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: If we want to learn from this tragedy, we have to get real. That doesn`t mean we`re being rude. That doesn`t mean we`re forgetting Whitney Houston`s accomplishments. Oh, no. She was one of a kind. She was a genius. She was amazingly talented, charismatic, beautiful. But we have to get real, people. Because what`s happened to her is happening all over the country to the not-so-famous.

We don`t know if Whitney Houston overdosed. We do know she struggled with addiction for years. That`s nothing to be ashamed of. Whitney Houston, again, an incredible talent, gone way too soon.

So tonight we`re going to take the cloak of secrecy off of addiction, and we`re going to really try to help anybody out there who is struggling with the same problem. And I know people watching have loved ones struggling with this problem. I hear it every day. So give me a call: 1- 877-JVM-SAYS. Together, we can work through this: 1-877-586-7297. I want to hear from you about your struggles, the struggles of your loved ones.

Straight out to TMZ news manager, Mike Walters. TMZ has been all over this from the very start.

What is the very latest tonight, Mike?

MIKE WALTERS, TMZ NEWS MANAGER: Well, Jane, we have obtained a photograph of the actual bathtub, right after Whitney Houston passed away and was pulled out of the tub and given CPR.

And I think what`s important about this photograph is the investigators are looking into what exactly could have happened that led her to be submerged in that water.

I can tell you several things. One, there was a bottle of olive oil inside the water, which we`re told Whitney a lot of the time used to soften her skin, and she did it a lot before performances.

The problem is, one of the other things we`re told she did before performances is take a drug called Xanax. It is a sedative that does help her. And this is from her own family and people around her, that she took this drug to try to calm her nerves, before a major performance.

And remember, that night was a major moment in Whitney Houston`s career, performing in front of that audience at Clive Davis` party at the Beverly Hilton, which was just a few hours away. I think it`s interesting, and this is one of the things that the investigators are trying to look at, is to figure out how exactly she got herself into that situation. And this is the latest thing that we have, is the photograph of this bathtub.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So you`re saying that you`ve determined that what, in terms of prescription pills, were in the room, according to TMZ?

WALTERS: I can tell you 100 percent that Xanax, Midol, amoxicillin, and ibuprofen were found in the room.

I also can tell you for all those people out there that think, well, it`s prescription drugs and there`s a lot of them. I`m told not that many pills, that there were bottles, but most people, the coroner is saying, have more in their medicine cabinet than Whitney had in their room.

So they`re not looking right now at the possibility that she was taking this big lot of drugs. It was specific drugs and ones, mixed with alcohol, that possibly had a legal combination, especially if you`re in a hot bath and submerged in water with no one around.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Walters, always great to hear from you. Again, TMZ way out front on this story.

The police being very tight-lipped about this case, understandably so. Listen to the coroner explain why security is so important.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, we had a security hold on Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy, Corey Haim, all high-profile cases and a lot of times on custody or officer-involved shooting cases or high-profile murder cases. We`ll put security holds to give the law enforcement agency a chance to do further investigation. So it`s not uncommon.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: So that gentleman from the coroner`s office mentioning Corey Haim, is actually how you pronounce it.

It`s important to remember that, when Corey Haim died, everybody suspected an overdose, but it turned out that it wasn`t the case. With long-term addicts, the fatal blow is not always an overdose. Corey Haim was supposedly sober when he died, but years of substance abuse can ravage the body and leave it susceptible to all sorts of trauma. And low levels - - low levels of drugs were found in Corey Haim`s system, although he did not die from an overdose.

I want to go out to Dr. Kathleen London, who is assistant professor of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell.

You`re hearing this list of drugs that TMZ is saying was in the room, and you`re also hearing the coroner say, "Well, it wasn`t so many, not many prescription bottles."

But as we just saw with Corey Haim, it doesn`t always take an overdose to kill. Sometimes, when somebody`s battled addiction for a long time, their body can sort of break down, and then just a bad combination can kill them without it being an overdose, Doctor.

DR. KATHLEEN LONDON, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, NEWYORK- PRESBYTERIAN/WEILL CORNELL: So that`s the bigger issue here, is benzodiazepines. So Xanax is one, drugs like Ativan, Valium, all those drugs, especially -- we tell patients, do not mix this with alcohol. The problem is that they both affect the same part of your brain, and the alcohol can make you not want to breathe. We call it respiratory depression. You can just get CNS (ph) depression. You can fall asleep. You can go into a coma from that combination.

So the idea that there was alcohol in the room, there was Xanax, she was in a tub, that`s a horrible combination. Water was found in her lungs, so that doesn`t surprise me and has me fearful that, no, this wasn`t an overdose. It was just a combination that she went to sleep and went underwater.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I want -- I want to go out to the call -- callers, because we`ve got so many of them.

Colleen, Connecticut, your question or thought, Colleen?

CALLER: Hi. I`m calling from Connecticut. I blame all of this Whitney Houston stuff on Bobby Brown. I think she was perfect until that - - that mix went into the whole...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know what, Colleen, we cannot blame somebody else when somebody`s addicted. It doesn`t work that way.

Very briefly, Anna David, executive editor of You`re a recovering cocaine addict. Can you blame a spouse or a lover for your own addiction?

ANNA DAVID, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THEFIX.COM: No. I mean, you don`t -- a husband doesn`t make you an addict. What happens is two addicts often marry each other, and then they bring out the worst in one another.

But addiction is something you are born with a predilection for. You do not catch it from somebody else. You do not become one because you`re married to somebody else. That just doesn`t happen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We are just getting started. We`re going to talk more about the Bobby Brown/Whitney Houston relationship in a moment. And your calls on the other side: 1-877-JVM-SAYS.

More on the life and death of Whitney Houston, as we try to remember, and Hollywood and the world pay tribute.






ELTON JOHN, MUSICIAN: You forgot, with all the troubles that she went through, how brilliant, how incredibly brilliant this woman was. She could sing "Porgy and Bess." She could sing gospel. She could sing "I Will Always Love You" and make you cry.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The one and only Elton John, paying tribute to the one and only Whitney Houston. And he spoke about her voice that gave you chills, listening to her do the national anthem. Unbelievable chills. She was a genius. She was extraordinary.

And I think that it`s actually respectful to make sure that she did not die in vain by examining some of the factors that led up to her death.

Whitney`s former bodyguard spoke this morning to "GMA." He says he didn`t see her do drugs, but he did witness a lot of odd behavior. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever was going on was not something that was in control, and certainly was something that I felt needed to be addressed. So I took action to address it. I eliminated access to her by certain people that I thought were negative influences.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Prescription pill bottles were found in Whitney`s hotel room at the time of her death. Numerous reports claim she was on the anti-anxiety drug, Xanax, as we`ve been saying.

You know, why didn`t bodyguards want her in the bathtub? I can answer that question, as a recovering alcoholic with 16 years of sobriety, 17, hopefully, by April. Addicts often retreat to the bathroom to get high, where they know they won`t be the disturbed.

Jennifer Jimenez, recovering addict, and basically somebody who facilitates somebody getting clean, the bathroom is the one place where people can say, "Hey, leave me alone. You can`t come in," and people accept that. And that`s why addicts often go to the bathroom to use their drugs.

JENNIFER JIMENEZ, RECOVERING ADDICT: Yes, no, absolutely. I have to be really honest here about that. There`s still not a bathroom that I don`t go into going, "Oh, I could have used there," or "Thank God I didn`t use there." You know, and that`s just like the trigger for me. But I have to go to the bathroom.

But the thing is here, it`s so true. It`s like let`s not have her death go in vain. How do we educate people? Like we`re doing it right now. There are so many people who are affected by pill medication, by alcoholism, drug addiction, like, how do we help them?

And this is how we do. We let them know that, you know, if you`re an addict, you`ve been suffering. You were born with a gene. If you`re an addict, there is ways to get help.

You know, I cannot go and get narcotics prescribed to me today, because that will open the beast, and it will awaken the beast, for me. And it`s not OK for me to do that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to bring in April Woodard -- yes, I agree with you 100 percent.

April Woodard, you`re a correspondent with BET. I want to talk a little bit about the political aspects of this and how we`ve struggled here on this show and I think many journalists have struggled with balance. How do we report on this appropriately? We don`t want to forget her genius. We don`t want to forget what she gave us, the songs that we will always have.

Now, Houston`s family is reportedly upset by the media focus on her history of drug problems. She made some bad decisions, but let`s not forget the good ones. But is there also an acknowledgement that if -- God willing, she did not die in vain, if we could learn something from this as a culture? Your thoughts?

APRIL WOODARD, CORRESPONDENT, BET: Absolutely. And I have to commend you, Jane, because I think you`re doing a great job of being balanced, particularly in this particular show, but I think you have to -- you have to tell the story. I mean, of course, they`re in a lot of pain right now. They`re devastated. You know, we don`t know exactly what the cause of death was.

And it could be she could have just had a heart attack because her body was run down from all of the years of drug use. Who knows?

And I guess what the family is saying, they don`t want to forget; they don`t want it to be overshadowed. All of the changes that she brought to people, all of the joy she brought to people`s lives, the songs. When you go through the list of songs, you can almost remember what you were going through at that moment when that song was out. And so I think that`s the important thing to focus on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Up next, a Valentine`s Day viral video.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: A Valentine`s Day viral video. An impromptu piano performance at the Mayo Clinic from a couple married 62 years.








VELEZ-MITCHELL: Amazing footing age of a very young Whitney Houston singing gospel at the very church where, tragically, the funeral will be for her this Saturday. So many people`s thoughts and prayers are with Whitney Houston`s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, tonight.

And people are wondering, after she grieves and mourns, what`s ahead for her? Does she have a career? She`s a very talented young woman in her own right.

Listen to Bobbi Kristina belting out an Adele song on YouTube.


BOBBI KRISTINA BROWN, WHITNEY HOUSTON`S DAUGHTER (singing): I`ve heard that you`re settled down, that you`ve found a girl and you`re married now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: She`s a talented young woman in her own right, and how is she going to cope with such a profound loss?

We do have a statement from her father, Bobby Brown: "My daughter did visit with doctors at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles Saturday. She has been released and is presently with my family, including her siblings."

Rob Shuter, "Naughty but Nice," from "Huffington Post," what do we know about how Bobbi Kristina is faring and what`s ahead for her?

ROB SHUTER, "HUFFINGTON POST": This has been devastating for Bobbi Kristina. There`s no doubt about that. She`s actually been hospitalized for a short period of time, she was so sickened about what happened to her mother.

What we know about her is that she was very, very close to her mom. She spent a lot of time with her mom. Her mom and dad were divorced, and she actually spent more time with her mom than her dad.

She has gone on record as saying that her mom was not just her mom, but her best friend and her sister. So we know that this has taken Bobbi Kristina by surprise, but more importantly, it has devastated this little girl.

And now the question is, what is next for her? She`s had access to some of the biggest names in the music business, including the head of the label, Clive Davis. So it`s not like she`s a new artist. She knows everybody in the music business through her mom. So if she wants a career in that business, it`s very possible.

You have to ask, though, is that a good thing for a little girl that`s seen such a destructive business on her mother?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: April Woodard, correspondent with Black Entertainment Television, you know about the financial angle of this, and it`s -- it`s difficult to talk about, but it`s important that she be provided for, frankly.

What lies ahead for Bobbi Kristina in terms of an inheritance?

WOODARD: Well, you know, it`s a little sketchy at this point, because we don`t know what the contracts say, but there are -- there are reports that Whitney is broke.

Now, I don`t know if I believe that. I mean, do they mean broke like you and me, or do they mean broke like a celebrity? Apparently she has two houses in New Jersey, a house in Atlanta, that are allegedly going under foreclosure, but a lot of people have a lot of houses that are going under foreclosure right now.

But what you have to look at is the deal that she had with the record labels. And that is, when you talk about royalties, who wrote the song, the songstress, which would be Whitney, because she didn`t write most of the music that she sang. Many of the other people wrote it, and they get royalties for that. So it`s really sketchy trying to figure out what the deal was.

But I imagine somebody who`s negotiating a contract for Whitney Houston would allow her to have a percentage of the royalties. So therein, when the song plays, every time the song plays, she gets maybe, you know, a certain amount of cents each time the song plays.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we`re going to talk in a little bit how Dolly Parton could be making a lot of money, next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The tragic death of Whitney Houston, gone at the young age of 48 years old.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation into Miss Whitney Houston`s death is ongoing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was devastated; she`s so great.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: There are too many questions. And one of the big questions is what happened in that hotel room?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Every little girl dreamed watching her. And she was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And no one -- there`ll never be another Whitney Houston, as far as I`m concerned.

WHTINEY HOUSTON, SINGER: It was very overwhelming in my spirit, my soul. And I didn`t only think about me, but I thought about other people`s struggles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We love you, Whitney Houston.

HOUSTON: I love you too.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Secrets amid the sadness as Whitney Houston`s family prepares to lay their beloved daughter to rest.

Good evening, everyone. Jane Velez-Mitchell back with you live from Hollywood. Fans continue to shed tears in coast-to-coast vigils, sometimes singing Whitney Houston songs. Barbara Walters speaking on the view notes Whitney`s story is sudden but unfortunately all too familiar.


BARBARA WALTERS, CO-HOST, "THE VIEW": She took a sedative, she was on drugs. She`d been in rehab twice in the last few years. Such a sad message. And she drowned in the tub.

We`ve talked about this before from Janis Joplin to Michael Jackson to Amy Winehouse. I mean, these drugs are just a -- they`re a killer. They are.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drugs are a killer. But they didn`t have to kill Whitney. This morning on GMA, we heard Whitney was timed by her bodyguards whenever she used the bathroom.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They didn`t want her to stay in the bathroom for long periods of time. He didn`t understand how they could have allowed her to be in the bathroom for an hour. They would check on her every seven to ten minutes. They timed the showers to make sure she got out at a certain time, because this is what they feared, something tragic would happen in the bathroom when she was away from everyone.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What could have saved Whitney Houston? Give me a call, 1-877-jvm-says. We`re going to get to the callers in a second, but first straight out to Rob Shuter, "naughty but nice" from Huff Po.

We`re going to show you the golden hearse that contained Whitney Houston`s body. Tell us about the funeral plans and what we can expect this coming weekend, because HLN is going to be providing live coverage this Saturday of this extraordinary funeral.

ROB SHUTER, HUFFINGTON POST: Yes, there`s different reports, but I can get to the bottom of that and tell you what is exactly going to happen. There was reports of a massive Michael Jackson-type memorial on Friday at the Prudential Center in Newark. That is now not going to happen. The mayor of Newark spoke out and said the family contacted him and asked that that did not occur.

So now there`s going to be a funeral service on Saturday at that church where you showed the video of a very young Whitney singing. It`s going to be at that church and what`s interesting is my research shows that church only holds 300 people. So there`s going to be a guest list outside. It`s invite-only.

And the big question that everybody`s asking is will Bobby Brown be there? We don`t know the answer yet, Jane, to that question.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, one of the most emotional reactions came from talk show host Wendy Williams. She broke down in tears on the air. Watch this from "The Wendy Williams Show".


WENDY WILLIAMS, TALK SHOW HOST: She`s my Jersey girl. She was a woman like me who`s part of the subculture of our society, the addict.

I wished for us both to be really sober and really aware.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy related to Whitney, because as Wendy said, they were both part of the subculture of addiction.

I want to go back to Anna David, executive editor of You`re a recovering cocaine addict. Listen, we`re only as sick as our secrets, or put another way -- I don`t want to be too vulgar -- we can save our face or we can save our ass. This is what they teach us in 12-step.

I speak as a recovering alcoholic myself. If our society is going to learn anything from this, we cannot be oh, so very phony and superficial. We have to get real. We have to start talking about the prescription drug epidemic in this country. We`ve got to start talking about the fact that people really do not understand that as one of her close friends said, well, she was clean and off hard drugs. But she was drinking, but she was ok.

That reveals a complete lack of understanding of how addiction works. You either are sober or you`re not. You`re clean or you`re not. You don`t get clean from one thing, like hard drugs, and continue to drink champagne. We`ve got to educate people, Anna.

ANNA DAVID, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THEFIX.COM: Yes. I mean, there is so much ignorance out there about addiction. The fact is, alcohol and Valium, they kill together. That can be more dangerous than any drug you can get on the street. The fact that it comes from a doctor, people still have this idea that it`s somehow benign.

And incidents like this, they do wake people up during all the media that follows, and then I think people fall back asleep. And what is so important is that we keep this conversation going, so that people understand. Addicts -- an addict is an addict is an addict. It doesn`t matter what they`re taking. If they`re addicted to something, they will just become addicted to something else once they get clean off the other drug.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. Let`s go to the phone lines, because people are sharing their stories and asking questions. Vicky, Illinois, your question or thought, Vicky?

VICKY, ILLINOIS: My thought is that -- I like your show, first of all.


VICKY: My thought is that my mom passed away because she was addicted to Demerol. And I found her, after she was dead five days, a needle in her arm. She too was an artist, she was a painter in San Francisco, had her own art gallery.

And right now I`m battling cancer, so I made sure I let my doctor know and communicated with them about my mom and I also talked about it with my daughter, that she`s a product of that too and she needed to be careful, you know? You`ve just got to sit there and talk. And I went to AlAnon and AlAnon helped me out a lot to understand my mom.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Vicky, let me explain to people what AlAnon is. There`s something called co-dependency, as many people know. So people who are trying to help the addict often get basically sucked into a vortex. The addict, and I`m not pointing to Whitney, I`m just saying in general, I`m a recovering alcoholic, let me speak for myself. when I was in my disease, I lied, I refused to acknowledge that I had a problem. And I said, no, everything`s fine. I didn`t have that much to drink -- blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Rationalize, justify, minimize, enable; and what happens is the co- dependent gets sucked into that. And often they`re operating under the mask of, I`m a good person, I`m being helpful, but in fact, they`re enabling. We really need to use this tragedy as an opportunity, really, to understand how addiction works.

Let`s listen again to singer Kelly Price, who said she was at a party with Whitney, she threw the party, and Whitney Houston was drinking champagne two nights before she died. Listen to this.


KELLY PRICE, SINGER: Whitney partied. She drank champagne. She sang and gave a performance that was unscheduled, because I never expected her to take the stage. I knew she was going to be there for me. And she was.

And as I addressed the audience to give acknowledgement to her being there, she decided to come up on the stage, and after we embraced each other, she said, "Give me the microphone."


VELEZ-MITCHELL: As one interventionist put it, would you let a friend with a life-threatening case of diabetes, devour an entire chocolate cake in front of you? You`ve got to wonder, why didn`t somebody who was with her and knew her history of substance abuse, which is something that the whole world knew about. I mean she spoke about it on Diane Sawyer and Oprah.

Why didn`t they say, "Hey, give me that drink, you`re not supposed to be drinking." And I`ll put that out to April Woodard, correspondent with Black Entertainment Television. So many of these people, everybody knew.

APRIL WOODARD, CORRESPONDENT, BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION: Yes, I think they do know, but I think people are just, you know, there`s not that one person who`s willing to say, "Hey, look, Whitney, put this down."

There are probably a bunch of yes people around her, as often happens with stars. So I think that somebody was like, well, it`s not drugs. You know, per se. It`s just alcohol, and her problem is cocaine. And her problem`s been weed, and those types of things. So they`re thinking, perhaps -- I`m assuming -- they were thinking that a little bit of champagne won`t hurt anyone.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, but that -- and thank you for bringing that up, April, because that is the fundamental misunderstanding.

Dr. Cathleen London, I have found that many doctors don`t understand. I`m a recovering alcoholic and I go to the doctor and say, I can`t have anything mood-altering. I won`t even gargle with Listerine, and yet they`re often quite willing to prescribe mood-altering drugs when there`s an alternative. They don`t have training in addiction.

CATHLEEN LONDON, FAMILY MEDICINE PHYSICIAN: We do -- all doctors get some, but I think you`re right, some doctors either just don`t take that in, or just assume that somehow if they`re prescribing it, they can help control it. We are required in medical school to go to AA meetings, to go see what it`s about.

But how seriously some physicians take that, I think some of us really took that a little more seriously and got to know more to get an understanding of, yes, it doesn`t take much. It can take one pill, one drink, one thing to set someone off and start all over.

But the real thing I also want to get across here is it`s not just addicts who are dying from this. This mix, especially, of these prescription drugs and alcohol that so many people do is so dangerous.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And that`s why we have to learn from it. Not to be disrespectful, not to be disrespectful, but that so Whitney Houston did not die in vain. This has to be a cultural shift right now. We have to wake up to this crisis.

More Whitney on the other side.

And later, dramatic, and I mean dramatic testimony about a husband accused of murdering his pregnant wife -- beautiful woman, handsome guy. They looked perfect on the outside, but behind closed doors, toxic secrets.

We`re taking your calls.





VELEZ-MITCHELL: And those are fans singing in tribute to Whitney Houston and that was happening in Beverly Hills. Here in Hollywood where I am, people are asking, what`s going on in Hollywood that so many talented icons are dying and that there`s this commonality. There are eerie parallels between Whitney`s premature death and Michael Jackson`s death. Listen to what Michael`s brother, Jermaine, told Piers Morgan.


JERMAINE JACKSON, MICHAEL JACKSON`S BROTHER: When there`s a young star, whether it`s my brother or Whitney, there`s always a wall being built around them to keep family away. And in these trying times and these hours of despair, family should be there. And all the time, family is not there, because they`re being kept away.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: And Jermaine kept referring to Whitney`s handlers or protectors. Do these people help their client by covering up their problems? This gets back to the co-dependency. And Matt Semino, you`re a Huff Po contributor and a criminal defense attorney. There`s often a conflict of interesting here. A lot of times these so-called handlers, they`re financially dependent on the celebrity, so they`re not in the position to tell them, "Hey, give me that drink."

MATT SEMINO, HUFFINGTON POST CONTRIBUTOR: You`re right, Jane, and you and I spoke about this on the Huffington Post. There is an epidemic of prescription drug abuse going on in this country, and most of these handlers of these celebrities are enablers in perpetuating that problem. And we`ve seen it with Michael Jackson. We saw it with Anna Nicole Smith. And now we`re seeing it with Whitney Houston.

It`s an epidemic that needs to change. And as the White House drug czar said today, unfortunately Whitney Houston`s death is a teachable moment in this crisis of prescription drug abuse in this country. And that`s what this tragedy unfortunately going to have to teach us.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, with all due respect to the drug czar, what are they doing about it? Because, let`s face it, more people are OD`ing from legal prescription drugs than they are from illegal drugs. And presumably, at some point along the lines, somebody got those drugs from a doctor.

SEMINO: Right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I think that there is just a complete upside down world when we are doing our war on drugs and fighting illegal drugs if more people are OD`ing from drugs that they`ve gotten from their doctor. There is something wrong in America today.

And Rob Shuter, I mean, we`ve all had the experiences. My gosh, my elderly mother, who is turning, by the way, 96 this week, and I`m going to go back to New York for her birthday party, hi, mom, if you`re watching, she had swollen legs and she ended up on a muscle relaxer. She couldn`t sleep without them. And I said, "You`re getting off those." She didn`t sleep for four nights straight, and I said, "That`s because you`re withdrawing from the drug." And now she`s fine.

But I mean you can be 96, Rob Shuter, and get hooked on this stuff. I really feel that it`s not enough for the drug czar to say, oh, yes, this is a cautionary tale. The U.S. government, with I think, really needs to start doing something to restrict how these heavy-duty narcotics are distributed by doctors.

SHUTER: Absolutely. As you know, Jane, I`ve worked with a ton of celebrities -- many, many a-list stars, and I`m ashamed and afraid to tell you, Jane, that this is not the last. I know at least two celebrities right now who are major stars who I fear are doing prescription drugs. And I know this because of the erratic behavior and in Hollywood, it is so easy to get these drugs.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to our Skype callers who have been so patient. Kara, Connecticut, your question or thought?



KARA: I actually have a thought. I know a lot of people are criticizing the coverage of Whitney`s death, saying that they`re sick and tired of hearing about it, but she had millions of fans all over the world and we`re in mourning. And instead of hiding from the fact that she died of a possible drug overdose, we really need to prevent our loved ones from doing this and overdosing.

I know so many people --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I agree with you. We don`t even know if it was an overdose, and as in the case of Corey Haim, it doesn`t have to be an overdose, it could just be a bad combination and you have a cold and it`s too much stuff in your system.

We`ve got to do something, America.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Jason Young in a moment. But first I think we all deserve a little laugh break.





UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He said, "My lawyer told me I can`t talk to anyone, not even you." Which, "What do you mean, lawyer?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I got a trail of blood drops in from the bed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The other statement was "I`m going to take a hit on the house." That was another like, "What?"

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Several lacerations, split teeth, missing teeth.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no cuts on his hands, right?


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There are no scratches?





VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight, a love story gone horribly wrong plays out against the backdrop of Valentine`s Day, which is today. A young family seemed perfect on the outside, masking their toxic reality. Do Jason Young`s failures as a husband mean he bludgeoned his beautiful pregnant wife to death?

With a second child on the way, Jason and Michelle were torn apart by secrets and lies. The prosecution brought out an anniversary card Jason, sent to his wife where he gushes about his love for her and their perfect family. Listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That card that`s signed by Jason was mailed from the same city and during the time when he was having an affair with another woman.



VELEZ-MITCHELL: Who is the real Jason? A philanderer, a murder? We don`t know. That`s why there`s a trial.

Straight out to "In Session" correspondent, Beth Karas; Beth, what evidence is there that the killer knew Michelle and was motivated by rage?

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Just the scene itself seems to indicate that it is a person who had a vendetta, some feelings for her. It doesn`t seem like a stranger did this. But that`s what we court watchers who are seasoned know, investigators know that. Jurors don`t. And that`s why I think the first jury deadlocked 8-4 for acquittal. And who knows what this jury will do.

There`s been a lot of evidence that he was not a good husband, that he was not happy in the marriage, that she was becoming more and more depressed and withdrawn. Michelle Young, a lovely extraverted woman who wanted nothing more than to have a harmonious home with her family and husband. They have a 2-year-old daughter.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Speaking of the daughter, cops say the killer may have drugged the 2-year-old girl with adult strength Tylenol, possibly so she wouldn`t remember the crime. Listen to this.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There is the Tylenol, adult glass (ph) with the eye dropper. That is the dropper that I found, and you see around this area is the liquid. And then there`s liquid right on this part of the shelf.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Defense attorney Matt Semino, if this was a random crime would the killer have taken the time to protect the little girl?

SEMINO: Jane, it shows that the kill had some sentiment toward the little girl, and obviously, they cleaned the girl up. There were bloody footprints all over the house, in the bathroom, from the little girl, yet when Michelle Young`s sister found the baby the next morning, she`s was in Michelle Young`s bed, totally clean. Someone took the time after the murder to clean up Baby Cassidy. And that`s really someone who would in my opinion, have known this family, have had a personal relationship with Michelle Young and Cassidy, and wanted to make sure that she was safe.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. And what really strikes me about this case that is so bizarre is that this Jason Young is a man of so many contradictions. He tells his wife, I don`t want any more kids, yet he insists on having unprotected sex with her, which, of course, results in a pregnancy. Meantime, he`s having an affair, and he doesn`t choose to get divorced. Something is wrong.

Upcycle Art, next.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Last week, I showed you how to turn trash into art. I asked you to send in photos of your upcycle art -- that`s what they call. We`ve got lots of submissions; they were all fantastic. Here are our favorites. Check this out.

Elizabeth sent a photo of kindle and iPad covers she`s making by quilting together old pajama pieces. Ann Clark took an old apple crate and painted it to make a great decorative bucket for a newborn`s room -- very creative. Britta from Florida sent in this Valentine she made for her daughter. Using scratch paper and buttons she took off old clothing. An artist named "Bottled Blond" sent in this next work art made out of all kinds of recycled material. Wow. And finally Lauren sent in a photo of her amazing wall art. She made this piece out of discarded toilet paper and rolls of paper towel tubes -- unbelievable.

You don`t need to spend money to say I love you. Happy Valentine`s Day.