monique houston

Monique Houston

*Drug addiction is a crippling thing.

For a celebrity, it’s 10 times worse with family and the public weighing in on how to deal with someone they care about becoming a shell of their former selves.

Few people know this better than Monique Houston, the former sister-in-law of the late Whitney Houston. As she remembers the demise of her marriage to Whitney’s brother Gary, Monique recalled a period where the siblings shared a drug-fueled connection. One that was apparent when she first met Gary.

“I never witnessed her (Whitney) actually use. I just know what he has communicated to me in the past,” Monique told EUR’s Lee Bailey. “Gary has had an addiction issue. (His brother) Michael also and, as we see, Whitney did too.

“I don’t know how much cocaine she did in the prior years when I was around,” Monique added. “I just know that he used to communicate, you know, smoking the joints with the cocaine in it.”

Monique Houston’s five- to six-year marriage to Gary was one of many casualties from Gary’s drug addition.  According to the mother of two, Gary’s relationship with their kids also suffered.

“…he has not maintained a healthy relationship with his kids. Towards me, he’s very bitter. I believe even if you divorce you should try to maintain a healthy relationship with the mother of your child as much as possible and your children,” stated Monique, who tried to maintain her marriage for the sake of her son. “Basically, I have raised my kids on my own. I moved to Atlanta because he kept making promises and said ‘You should come live with us’ and so on and so on and I wanted to be close by if that was to happen because my son, of course as a young black male, really needed that father figure as well as my daughter. But I moved here and there wasn’t a lot of consistency. There’s been issues with child support and I come from a very small family. My mother passed years ago. So I basically raised my kids with the help of a couple of close friends and a cousin. As far as having that extended family support, my kids really didn’t grow up with that.”

gary houston

Gary Houston

Coupled with emotional, physical and verbal abuse, Monique left Gary, who went after his ex-wife in a different way.

“Once he didn’t have that hold on me, then any opportunity to be financially abusive started to come in to play. I kind of feel like the only way to really hurt me is to withdraw from the kids,” she said, adding that Gary refused to let go, despite moving on to a new relationship with the woman who would become his current wife, Pat.

“I left years ago. I wasn’t concerned with what went on with his marriage. I just wanted everything to be kind of an even flow and if you say, ‘Do I think the problem could be with me?’ Well, yeah because there’s still a lot of bitterness towards me. It’s always been that way,” Monique detailed. “When Gary and Pat were first married, there was a lot of harassment that went on towards me, calling and sending crazy pictures in the mail, leaving crazy voicemails. I don’t understand that type of mentality either, when another woman participates in that ongoing bitter struggle with the ex-woman.”

Monique attributes part of Gary’s bitterness over the years to his drug addiction, which she says is “a symptom of other issues.” The situation reached a noticeable point during Whitney’s funeral as the kids realized how Monique was on Gary’s mind during the sad occasion.

“My kids were like, ‘Why does he always bring you up? We’re checking in to see how he’s doing and he’s bringing you up’ when I took a back seat role. I was weighing out should I go to the funeral or should I just let them go on up there on their own. While I’m in the middle of this debate internally, my kids are talking to him and he communicates to my son that I’m not welcome.”

“Well you can’t pick up the phone and communicate this to me?” Monique continued. “Why do the kids have to be involved in this continual struggle between me and him? I mean it’s years later. I’ve moved on with my life. I just expect what you should do as a father and that’s it. You know, be there emotionally for your kids and be supportive financially as you’re supposed to and I’m happy.”

While she admits Gary was “back and forth for many years” with his drug use over the years since she left when the couple split in 1992, Monique isn’t sure if he is still using.

“I don’t know what his status is presently,” she stated.

Be sure to check in for parts two and three of Lee Bailey’s interview with Monique Houston, where she talks about her relationship with Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston, that turned sour and what she really thought of Bobbi Kristina’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.