Whitney Houston FBI Files Include Extortion Investigation, Obsessed Fan

on March 04 2013 2:50 PM
Whitney Houston
FBI files on Whitney Houston released Monday showed the bureau looked into a possible extortion plot targeting the singer, but ultimately found no evidence of criminality. Reuters

FBI files on Whitney Houston released Monday show the bureau looked into a possible extortion plot targeting the singer, but ultimately found no evidence of criminality.

The files also include letters from an obsessed fan who thought up a “crazy idea” because Houston would not respond to him.

Houston died Feb. 11, 2012, of accidental drowning in her suite at The Beverly Hilton Hotel. She had several drugs in her system, including Xanax and marijuana.

The possible extortion attempt involved a woman who wrote to Houston in 1992, demanding that the singer and actress pay her $100,000 or she would divulge “certain details” of Houston’s “private life,” USA Today reported.

A second letter increased the demands to $250,000 and threatened to reveal “intimate details” of Houston’s “romantic relationships,” according to USA Today.

Houston, two of her attorneys and her father, John Houston, were interviewed by FBI agents, who decided not to pursue the case further.

The singer told the agents that the women who wrote the letters was a friend who did know personal details about her life.

John Houston sent the woman a confidentiality agreement and an unknown amount of money (the amount was redacted in the FBI files), USA Today reported.

An obsessed fan of Houston’s also caught the attention of the FBI after he wrote that he “might hurt someone with some crazy idea and not realize how stupid an idea it was until after it was done.”

The fan grew increasingly frustrated that the singer would not respond to his fan letters.

The first one showed his admiration but was harmless.

"Miss Whitney, you are just so pretty and so beautiful. I just cannot stop thinking about you. Many times when I think about you I will start to shake. ... I really and truly am in love with you,” he wrote.

In further letters, the man said he thought about putting a stop to his writing.

"Over the past 17 months, I have sent ... 66 letters to Miss Whitney. ... I have been to 9 of Miss Whitney's concerts and I have tried to give her flowers twice at the concerts. ... When I first fell in love with Miss Whitney Houston I tried to ignore what I felt towards her. After 5 months I had to do something so I started writing letters. I have tried to stop writing the letters and to give up twice but after a few weeks I had to start writing again,” he wrote.

In another letter, the fan wrote, "I have gotten mad at her a few times. ... it scares me that I might come up with some crazy or stupid or really dumb idea that might be as bad or even worse than that... . I might hurt someone with some crazy idea."

By the time the male fan wrote more than 70 letters, he admitted he was “crazy” but said he had to “keep trying” to get in touch with Houston.

The FBI flagged one of the letters, written in 1988, as a possible extortion attempt after the writer threatened to declare his love for Houston in the National Enquirer or on “The Phil Donahue Show,” according to USA Today.

"He believed this 'crazy idea' would have hurt Houston's reputation so he did not follow through on it,” the bureau wrote, later determining that the man did not violate any federal laws.