Did Whitney Houston really go to rehab? There are some questions this morning, as my sources insist she never made it there.
I'm told that Houston may have instead spent part of last weekend getting her throat scraped at a special clinic in the Atlanta area, and that from there she was supposed to go into a nearby drug-rehab facility. But I am also told that on Saturday she checked herself out of the throat clinic and into a local hotel.
"She couldn't have been in a 28-day program, since she was getting and receiving calls," my source insists.
Also: Local New York radio deejay Wendy Williams is reporting, apparently, that Whitney checked out of rehab. Williams had one of the all-time strangest phone interviews with Houston last year, in which drugs, Bobby Brown and Houston's other problems were discussed.
At the same time, Houston's husband, the irrepressible Brown, is getting a leave from his current jail time in DeKalb County, Ga., to appear at a paternity hearing in Boston involving two children by an unnamed woman.
Brown and Houston have one daughter, Bobbi Kristina. Brown has at least one other child the same age as Bobbi Kristina by another woman.
But the Whitney story is the most upsetting so far, since fans around the world were congratulating her on getting help at last.
Quick: Last year the big gala dinner for the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation was held at: a) a church rectory, b) a hotel ballroom, c) the Playboy Mansion in Hollywood.
If you guessed c) the Playboy Mansion, you are correct. That's where Denise Brown, Nicole's sister, decided to have a black-tie dinner to raise money for battered women and victims of domestic abuse.
In photos recently posted on Denise's Web site, you can see glamorous women in brightly colored gowns and heaving cleavage, black-tied men toasting each other with cocktails, and Playboy bunnies wearing satin ears, bunny suits and not much else.
In keeping with the somber theme of the night, entertainment was provided by extremebartending.com, a live performance group that puts an on 25-minute interactive show which includes audience members participating as if they were in the movie "Cocktail" in front of a banner that read: "No excuse for abuse."
Sound like a Robert Altman movie? To cap it off, there was a display at the party of handmade tombstones with the names of fictitious women who were presumably victims of domestic abuse.
You can't make this stuff up.
Of course, nothing surprises me about the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation. When this column debuted in 1999, I told you that Denise, Nicole's sister, was using the foundation's funds for herself and giving little to battered women. Not much has changed over the years.
The most recent tax filing for the Nicole Brown Simpson Charitable Foundation shows the largest expense in 2001 — $24,800 — was paid for Denise to go out speaking to groups about domestic violence. In the same filing, filed in July 2003, the foundation reported a year-to-year loss of $6,000, with $42,000 in revenue and $48,000 in expenses.
The next largest expenses were $4,268 for unspecified "outside services," $3,000 for the phone bill, and finally, $2,000 spent on renting a house for victims of domestic abuse, according to the filing.
Meantime, the Foundation's next big project is organizing candlelight vigils for Nicole (and I guess Ronald Goldman, the innocent bystander who was killed along with her) on June 12.
To that end, the Foundation is marketing a "Memorial Season" which begins on April 19 — the day of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing — and ends with the Nicole memorial.
In between, "Memorial Season" also commemorates the 1993 deaths of Branch Davidian sect members at Waco, the Columbine High School massacre, the 1915 Armenian genocide, the end of the Vietnam War, World War II's D-Day and the execution of Timothy McVeigh.
As for Denise, her Web site also advertises a reality series she's hoping to launch called "Predators." Its tag line: "Go behind the scenes, behind the headlines and into the minds of real-life predators!"
And here's the pitch: "An anonymous gift left at the doorstep, a friendly conversation misconstrued, a polite smile taken the wrong way. Fertile ground is in the mind of a predator. From serial killers to cyber-stalkers, from pedophiles to kids who kill, watch as we uncover the multi-faceted world of the modern-day predator."
So far, there have been no takers.