Fanatic supporters have always been something of a nuisance for celebrities, but there are times that the fans take it a bit too far. In the case of Whitney Houston, nothing bad actually ended up happening, but that didn't stop the FBI from nosing in on the situation to get to the bottom of it. Here's everything you need to know about the files that the FBI released Monday.
1. The FBI Investigated Three Separate Cases
According to CNN, the FBI looked into three separate cases of fanaticism on Houston's behalf, and they were spread all over the world. One man wrote letters from Burlington, VT, and another wrote from Holland. It's not clear where the third wacko wrote from, but his correspondence was strange enough to be included here.
2. One Man Sent 79 Letters to Houston
A man in Vermont who described himself as a "loner" wrote 79 letters to Houston in total and 16 to her family and associates, starting in March 1986 with the release of her "The Greatest Love of All."
"When I first fell in love with Miss Whitney I tried to ignore what I felt toward her," he wrote in one of his letters. "After 5 months I had to do something and 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. I just have to keep trying."
The excerpt continues:
But because I have gotten that desperate and mad and would come up with ideas that that 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 realize how stupid an idea it is until after I have done it. That really scares me.
The "crazy idea" he referred to wasn't intended to harm Houston, as he informed the FBI--it was to appear on "The Phil Donahue Show" and profess his love for the singer, but after some thought he decided that it would be detrimental to her reputation and scrapped the plan. He continued in his letter:
I really and truly am in love with you. Please believe in life and love and trust in yourself, and in your friends and trust in god. Miss, Whitney, you are a special person and a wonderful gift. Please keep singing and helping people to be happy, but most of all, Miss Whitney, Please Keep Smiling.
3. He Was Pretty Political
That same prolific scribe included more than most people would want to know about his personal political beliefs. The man, who was supposedly a US Army veteran, said that he wanted to raise taxes on the rich, cut taxes for the poor and to give people free healthcare. And to think that all this Robin Hood wanted was to live in a perfect world and have the adoration of one of the world's biggest pop stars...
4. He Was Sick Over Whitney
"I just can't stop thinking about you," he said in a letter. "Many times when I think of you I will start to shake. Please, Please give me a chance." He continued, "I saw a headline for an article in one of those things in the supermarket saying that you were married allready. I am sure they made it up, but I allmost broke down right then and there and I have still been sick for the last several days."
It kind of makes you feel bad for the guy--he was already a loner, and he was only creepy in an endearing, grown-up child kind of way. Regardless, he probably should have been a little more discreet.
5. One Fan Said He Was the "President of Europe"
This guy was about as crazy as the last fan was lonely. From Holland, he sent letters "of a threatening nature" to Houston, prompting an agent stationed in Brussels, Belgium to pop in and check up on the guy. He told the agent that he was the "President of Europe," and he claimed credit for the fall of the South African government and the subsequent election of Nelson Mandela there. The man, who worked at a plant nursery, told the agent that he wouldn't send any more letters after their exchange.
6. He Also Claimed to Have "Purchased Brazil"
That same man--you know, Mr. President--told the agent that he purchased the South American nation of Brazil for $66 billion, according to the LA Times. If it were true, it would be pretty remarkable that he was still employed at a Belgian plant nursery. Unfortunately for him, it's an exceptional falsehood.
7. He Was Apparently Pretty Musical
This guy also sent some cassettes along with his multitude of letters. They apparently contained songs that he wrote for Houston, which we truly wish we could show you here. When the FBI questioned him, they found that all he wanted to know was if Whitney had read any of his letters, and not to harm her in any way.
8. One Man Wanted Money... Or Else
In November of 1992, a man said that he required $250,000 or else he'd uncover details of a secret romance involving Houston. This news came shortly after her marriage to Bobby Brown, and it got the FBI's attention. Houston said that she had no idea what information the man might have. He had a lawyer contact Houston, saying that he'd "suffered emotional stress" on her behalf and that he may try to sue. The lawsuit never came to fruition, but he also mentioned that he'd received several high-priced offers for his knowledge. The information apparently never surfaced. According to the Christian Science Monitor, Houston considered the man extorting her to be a friend.
9. None of the Investigations Led to Criminal Charges
Even though there was an initial possibility of harm to Houston, the FBI concluded after their investigations that none of the parties posed any sort of threat. Aside from asking the men to cease their contact with Houston, no charges were pressed. Nonetheless, these cases of fanaticism are still pretty creepy. It's a wonder that the FBI didn't recommend the "President of Europe" as a candidate for psychiatric counseling, and that they didn't keep closer tabs on these men afterwards. It truly was a different time--nowadays, this kind of thing would get squashed in an instant, and the FBI may have fought harder to press charges.
10. The Cases Were Heavily Redacted
The cases are apparently 90% redacted, which means that many names and key pieces of information were removed from the documents before the FBI released them. It seems pretty typical for the FBI to hide so much information, but it seems as though there's much more to this situation than meets the eye, and we may never know the true end of it.