Entertainment & Arts

Whitney Houston: FBI files on alleged threats released

Whitney Houston
Image caption Whitney Houston was one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 200 million records

The FBI has released files spanning a decade from 1988 to 1999 detailing three investigations it conducted on behalf of Whitney Houston.

The singer died in a hotel bathroom on 11 February last year.

The records, numbering more than 120 pages, were posted online on Monday, showing letters from obsessed fans and an alleged extortion attempt in 1992.

The Bureau found no crime actually occurred and there was no evidence of criminal threats in the fan mail.

Following Houston's marriage to New Edition singer Bobby Brown in 1992, the files show someone considered to be a close friend and "privy to much personal information" had allegedly attempted to blackmail her to the tune of $250,000 (£166,250), threatening to put private information into the public arena unless she paid out.

Houston was interviewed by the FBI at the New Jersey offices of her management company about the extortion investigation, but the records are heavily redacted.

Love letter

A fan in Vermont, New England proclaimed his love through more than 70 letters in a 17-month period, sent to Houston at the height of her fame.

One letter read: "I tried to ignore what I felt towards her. After five months I had to do something so I started writing letters."

Later in the same letter, he referred to a plan to make his love for her public through the press, though he was afraid would hurt the singer's reputation.

He wrote: "It scares me that I might come up with some crazy or stupid or really dumb idea that might be as bad as that or even worse than that. I might hurt someone with some crazy idea and not realise how stupid an idea is until I have done it."

The FBI decided no law was broken as he had not made any physical threats towards Houston.

The files were released through a Freedom of Information Act request, but contained no new personal details about the star's life.

In 1999, the star received letters and recorded cassette tapes from the Netherlands, which she considered threatening.

In a subsequent FBI interview, the the sender made outlandish claims, saying he was President of Europe, had bought Brazil for $66bn and helped Nelson Mandela's election campaign in South Africa

Houston's death at the age of 48, the night before the Grammy Awards 2012, was as a result of accidental drowning due to cocaine use and heart disease, authorities said.

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