Whitney Houston's Death: Funeral to Take Place Saturday

Good Morning America
Whitney Houston's Death: Funeral to Take Place Saturday

View photo

Whitney Houston's Death: Funeral to Take Place Saturday (ABC News)

Whitney Houston will be laid to to rest at a private funeral on Saturday, her family's pastor announced today.

It will be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., the same church where Houston honed her powerful voice. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was at the funeral home until 2 a.m. this morning. She made it clear that a funeral must be inside a church, and the Prudential Center, where a public memorial for Houston may be in the works, is not an appropriate venue.

On Monday night, Houston's body arrived via private jet and gold-colored hearse to her home state of New Jersey, two days after she was found dead in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles.

Many of Houston's friends and family have left California for New Jersey. Bobbi Kristina, Ray Watson -- Houston's brother-in-law and bodyguard -- and more family members are now back in the Garden State. The plane believed to be carrying the singer's body landed at Teterboro Airport, north of Newark, N.J., at 10:31 p.m. ET Monday.

Her funeral arrangements will be handled by the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., the same place that handled arrangements for her father in 2003.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston Through the Years

On Monday, Beverly Hills police revealed that Houston was found "underwater and unconscious" in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room Saturday afternoon. Prescription drugs were found nearby. Photographs published by TMZ show bottles of champagne and beer were in the adjacent room and on the floor next to the tub where she died.

ABC News confirmed Monday that Houston's aunt Mary Jones found her in the bathtub and tried to revive her before paramedics arrived at the scene.

Houston's cause of death will not be revealed for six to eight weeks, pending toxicology results.

Longtime Bodyguard Tried to 'Eliminate Negative Influences'

Meanwhile, one of the closest members of Houston's team is speaking out about her drug dependence. Alan Jacobs was the director of security for Houston from 1995 to 2002, and often spent 12 hours a day with the singer. On "Good Morning America" today, Jacobs said that while he never saw Houston do drugs, he could see their effect on her.

"It's like living in the eye of a hurricane, and constantly trying to fight being pulled into the swirl of activity that surrounds you," he said. "Whatever was going on, was not something that was in control, and certainly was something I felt needed to be addressed. so I took action to address it. I eliminated access to her by certain people that I thought were negative influences."

Despite his attempts to keep Houston away from trouble's path, Jacobs eventually had to concede that he couldn't protect her all of the time. As Houston said in her infamous 2002 interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, "the biggest devil is me."

"The reality of it is, that you can protect someone from everything, but you cannot protect them from themselves," Jacobs said.

Jacobs said that though he was shocked and saddened, he was not totally surprised when Houston died. He also said that he had warned her and husband Bobby Brown it would happen, and decided to quit his job when she did not stop abusing drugs.

"I said, 'you hired me to do a job, to protect you … but I cannot protect you from yourselves.' I took a stand and it was about four months later that we decided to part company," he said.

According to Jacobs, after he left, Houston turned over security to her relatives. Her head bodyguard until her death was brother-in-law Billy Watson.

"It would seem that a closer eye might have been kept," Jacobs said. "But there again there's an old saying that the boss may not always be right, but the boss is always the boss."

ABC News' Eileen Murphy contributed to this report.

View Comments (2)