Whitney: I got her out of the house earlier than I had left. I placed her with my brother, Gary, and my sister-in-law, Pat, who lived five minutes down the street from me, because it was getting to be a little much. They took care of her for fifth and sixth grade while she went to school. While I just tried to get it all together and say: "What was I going to do? Where was I going to go? How was I going to do this? How was I going to get out of this?" And once I made some moves, I took her with me to California, and we lived there for a year and a half.
Oprah: So were you separated from Bobby Brown for a time when we didn't even know it?
Whitney: Yeah. I left, but nobody really knew.
Oprah: Do you feel that even doing that—taking her out of the house—that she saw too much? She heard too much? Experienced too much?
Whitney: It was enough. She saw enough. The spitting in the face was enough. She said: "Mom, did he spit in your face?" And I looked in her eyes and she looked in mine and I said: "Yes. But it's all right." And she said: "No, it's not. No, it's not. It's not, Mom. It's not all right." I said: "If you can do me a favor. Just do this for Mommy. I'm going to put my trust in God. You put your trust in me. You may not understand it now, but just trust me. I'm not letting you go. I will hold on to you with my dear life. Just trust me. And we will get up out of this. And we'll be happier for it. And then as you get older, I'll tell you little by little as to why things are happening and why Mommy has to go."
But we got to California and she was very angry. Did not understand. She fought me. But I kept coming back with love. I kept holding her in my arms. I kept knocking on that door and I kept getting on my knees. I kept praying. Telling her I loved her.
And then I waited for him. I did. I waited for him to come back to say all the stuff that he was doing—and he was doing a lot of ugly things outside the marriage. I just kept thinking: "He's dragging this into my home and my daughter. I can't have this. I can't let her think that this is love, or this is the way it should be."
Oprah: You were still, even after moving to California, hoping that you could get back together?
Whitney: Yeah, I waited.