“[Whitney] was, at that time, really in a downward spiral with drugs, and it was obvious to anyone who was watching her. There was a horrible, horrible performance on the AMA’s or something. Do you remember that? She was so skinny, she looked so much like an addict. She had produced Cinderella for Brandy. The whole hour [of O’Donnell’s talk show] was her and Brandy on Cinderella, and she didn’t show up. So I said to her crew, who was already there, ‘This is on all of you. Because when she dies, everyone’s going to ask “Why didn’t you do something?”‘ And Robyn [Crawford], who was her partner for a while, she had written me and told me that was a very big day for them ― the crew around her ― to think that they had to make inroads to try to help her, and sadly, they didn’t. Or couldn’t…Whitney was troubled by, I think, the gay part of her life and didn’t want it exposed. It’s hard in black culture to accept gayness. It’s culturally more difficult, I think. And the church, the Baptist church…weighed heavily on her, growing up in the church in gospel and singing, I think that there was a lot of conflict about that.”–Comedienne and former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, discussing Whitney Houston’s notorious no-show appearance on her show. In an interview with the podcast Hot Takes & Deep Dives, O’Donnell discussed her friendship with Houston, Houston’s struggles with her sexuality and drugs, which ultimately cost her life at age 48.