Whitney Houston's FBI files released, details threatening fan mail and extortion
The FBI has released its files on singer Whitney Houston, which include three investigations the agency conducted on behalf of the singer for an extortion attempt and threatening letters she received from fans.
The records included 128 pages of documents and were released on Monday, March 4. The documents show the agency conducted one investigation into an alleged extortion attempt in 1992, but agents and prosecutors determined no crime occurred.
The extortion plot was investigated after a letter was sent to Houston's New Jersey office of Nippy Inc. "Nippy" was Houston's childhood nickname.
A person threatened to release details of Houston's private life unless they was paid $100,000. The person's demand later went up to $250,000 and the unnamed person said they would release "intimate details" of Houston's romantic relationships.
However, in exchange for the $250,000, the person would sign a confidentiality agreement and provide transcriptions of any taped conversations they had. The files, which are heavily redacted, do not state the outcome of the case.
Threatening Fan Mail
Another case the FBI investigated was an unemployed Vermont Army veteran who sent 79 letters to Houston, 16 to her friends and family and one to her cats.
The fan also said he met Houston's father during a September 1987 concert at Madison Square Garden and that Houston's father agreed to give Houston 37 to 38 photocopies of letters her previously wrote to Houston.
"He admits to being deeply in love with Houston, and has been frustrated because she has not responded to his letters," an agent wrote in a report about his interview with the fan dated on June 26, 1988. "He believes that if he makes his love for Houston public through 'a crazy idea' like going on the 'Phil Donahue Show' it would hurt her reputation, therefore, because of his love for her, he does not intend to do this."
The fan reportedly saw Houston for the first time in March 1986. The agent's 1988 report describes the fan as being a "loner" and noted that he "does not appear to interact well socially."
Brussels Fan Investigation
There was also another incident with a fan from Brussels in 1999 that the FBI investigated. The fan admitted he sent Houston an audio tape of a song he composed for her but denied ever sending Houston threatening letters. The fan also claimed to be "the President of Europe," according to the report, and said he purchased Brazil for $66 billion. He also claimed credit for the election of Nelson Mandela.
The documents do not include any new personal details about Houston's life. Whitney Houston died at age 48 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, California on February 11, 2012. She was found in a bathtub and her death was ruled an accidental drowning, spurred by cocaine use and a pre-existing heart condition.