Monday, September 15, 2014
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Whitney Houston friend: I cleaned up room where she died

A Whitney Houson family friend claims he cleaned up the Beverly Hilton hotel room where Houston died before authorities arrived at the scene

Whitney Houston friend: I cleaned up room where she died

Blog Image
In this image provided by Sony Music singer Whitney Houston is shown during the Whitney Houston "I Look To You" CD Listening Party held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Thursday July 23, 2009 in Beverly Hills, California. (AP Photo/Frank Micelotta - Sony Music)

In a strange twist to the diva’s story, a man who claiming to be a Whitney Houston friend and media consultant has claimed that cleaned up the hotel suite where Houston was found dead on Feb. 11 before police had arrived at the scene.

Raffles van Exel tells Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf (The Telegraph) “the room had to be emptied. … Someone had to do it.”

The Dutch native describes himself on his LinkedIn page as “a highly respected entertainment consultant/producer having guided some of the world's most acclaimed executives and celebrities,” including Houston, Michael Jackson, Patti LaBelle and Ray Charles.

In his newspaper confession, parts of which have been translated into English by gossip site, Celebuzz.com, van Exel claims he removed certain items from Houston’s room – but he does not name the items.

The mysterious half-admission one imagines, is supposed to make us conclude that van Exel removed drugs and drug paraphernalia from the room. (No such items were found by police.)

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office last week announced that Houston died from an accidental drowning in a bathtub with the “effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

Van Exel seems to have a lively interest in all things celeb.

On March 14, Forbes reported that the controversial photo the Natioanl Enquirer published showing Houston in her casket may have been leaked to the weekly tabloid by van Exel. Forbes says an employee at the Whigham Funeral Home saw van Exel snap Houston in her casket.

Asked by Forbes for comment on the story, Van Exel said nothing.

NBC’s Today show reports on its website that van Exel also may also have leaked photos taken from Houston’s hotel room and a photo of Houston’s teenage daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, when she was admitted to a hospital shortly after her mother’s death. She was treated for anxiety.

Citing an ABC News report, Today.com also says van Exel and O.J. Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, were the creative minds who cooked up the extraordinarily tasteless idea for O.J. to write a hypothetical account of how he might have killed his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. If I did It was never published.

As for van Exel’s Houston-related claims, a source tells Celebuzz that Beverly Hills police are still investigating how Houston acquired the drugs and whether they were removed from her room.

(Photo No. 2 shows Whitney Houston with Raffles van Exel.)

Tirdad Derakhshani Inquirer Sideshow Columnist
About this blog
Tirdad Derakhshani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in London and rural North Jersey, where he closely studied a theoretical, radical post-Hegelian approach to cow-tipping. He moved to Philadelphia in the mid-‘80s to seek enlightenment, and instead received a B.A. in literature at Penn. While pursuing doctoral studies in modern religious thought and philosophy, he worked at the Inquirer as a news clerk, researcher, editor, and entertainment writer.

He hopes SideShow will help citizens better understand the vicissitudes of the Consumerist-Military-Industrial-Infotainment Complex, or, in other words, why Britney Spears has a tendency to shave her head, Brangelina to adopt children, and Lindsay Lohan to crave imprisonment. Read SideShow every morning.


Tirdad Derakhshani Inquirer Sideshow Columnist
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