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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Patrick Hill

Whitney Houston's bodyguard reveals he panicked when he found singer's body in bath

Whitney Houston ’s minder has spoken for the first time of the moment he found her lifeless body in a hotel bath.

Emotional Ray Watson opened up ahead of the 10th anniversary of the star’s death. Whitney, 48, drowned in Los Angeles on February 11, 2012 – the night before the Grammys.

Ray, her personal guard for a decade, was left devastated by the singer’s death. And he suffered double heartbreak when her daughter Bobbi Kristina, 22, died three years later, just hours after he tried to console her over the phone.

Breaking his silence, Ray, 70, told the Sunday Mirror: “I saw Whitney in the bathtub and I panicked. I couldn’t tell if she was alive or dead.

Whitney Houston's bodyguard Ray Watson at her funeral (CNN)

“I got her out of the water and tried to revive her. Then it was all crazy. It was the worst thing that has ever happened in my life. I never will forget it. Never.”

Whitney enjoyed enormous success as both a singer and actress, but struggled with drink and drug addiction.

A postmortem found she sank under the water after a massive heart attack, caused in part by years of cocaine abuse. Marijuana and prescription drugs were also in her system.

Ray says: “Sometimes, when I thought she was on drugs, I would guess by her appearance. I just watched to see if she was OK, I would watch her closer.

“But I never saw her do drugs, I never talked to her about drugs and she never did drugs in front of me – out of respect. We never talked about it and I let it go.”

Minder Ray with his boss Whitney (Ray Watson)

Ray gave a touching eulogy at Whitney’s funeral, attended by showbiz stars like Oprah Winfrey, Alicia Keys, Mariah Carey and Stevie Wonder.

He also reveals how he tried to protect Whitney’s daughter, who in a tragic echo of her mum’s death was also found unresponsive in a bath.

Bobbi Kristina spent six months in a coma. And Ray still holds himself partly responsible for her death.

He says: “Bobbi Kristina was there when Whitney died. She was stunned, upset. But Bobbi didn’t see her Mom in the bathtub. She never came into the room. I wouldn’t let her into the room. When Bobbi Kristina died, it was so terrible.

“She didn’t pass away in the tub, but her normal life ended right there. I talked to her on the phone the night before. She was troubled about her mother and it was a sad situation. Her mother was gone and she was lost in her mind.

Whitney with her daughter Bobbi Kristina, who died three years after her mother (WireImage)

“Bobbi Kristina went through hell – it was the worst nightmare, her mother dying. I’d go to see her every day in the hospital and hospice. There is no word in the English language to say how awful it was.

“I asked myself at the time, ‘How can this happen, what else can happen now?’ In a way, I take responsibility myself. I was part of the group around her and sharing responsibility for her.

“We had to be there for her. She tried to make it on her own, but she really couldn’t. I feel as if I should have been there. It was sad… terrible, but I look at it that now Whitney and Bobbi Kristina are together.

“There’s no more worrying, there’s no more broken hearts.”

Ray was also close to Whitney’s family, including her ex-husband Bobby Brown, who is Bobbi Kristina’s father. Ray’s sister Pat was Whitney’s manager and is married to her brother Gary.

Minder Ray is haunted by the deaths of Whitney and her daughter (Getty Images)

Whitney sold more than 200 million records worldwide. She topped the charts with hits like I Will Always Love You and I Wanna Dance With Somebody and also appeared in the hit 1992 movie The Bodyguard, opposite Kevin Costner.

As tragic as her end was, Ray is adamant that Whitney’s legacy will live on.

He says: “I love her and I miss her. But it’s Whitney Houston and she’s never going to be forgotten. Ten years, 100 years… we won’t be around, but she will be remembered.”

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