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Fred Prouser  /  Reuters file
Friends reportedly staged an intervention to tell Whitney Houston she needed to leave husband Bobby Brown.
updated 9/28/2006 2:42:02 AM ET 2006-09-28T06:42:02

Whitney Houston fans rejoiced when they heard that the singer was finally divorcing her bad-boy hubby, Bobby Brown. But now comes word that the legal action may actually have been a last-ditch effort to keep her man.

Earlier this month, Houston filed papers for a legal separation from her husband of 14 years after she found out that he had been having a “steamy affair” with “hip-hop video vixen” Karrine Steffans, according to the upcoming Star, which reports that Brown had even moved in with his mistress.

Friends, including producer Clive Davis and Houston's cousin, Dionne Warwick, staged an “intervention” and convinced Houston that she had to leave Brown, who was making a fool of her with the affair. Houston filed the papers mostly to get her friends off her back and to get Brown’s attention, but her plans reportedly backfired.

“Bobby told Whitney during an emotional scene in which the tearful diva was pulling on his arm and begging him to stay with her, that this time, the marriage was over for good,” according to the Star.

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Brown returned to Steffans’ arms, and Houston began plotting how to get how to get him back.

“Whitney has had an irrational commitment to Bobby that borders on obsessive,” a source “close to the couple” told the tab. “They are so intertwined and co-dependent that Whitney has convinced herself that she can’t survive without him.”

The tab reports, however, that Houston has kicked her drug habit and has been taking voice lessons, and friends are hopeful that she’ll be able to kick her Brown habit as well.

Picture this
Does Jessica Simpson’s manager-dad have a cozy relationship with a photo agency?

Joe Simpson, who handles the career of both the “Dukes of Hazzard” star and her sister, Ashlee Simpson, doesn’t just deal with one of the agencies, according to RadarOnline — he takes pics for it.

“According to sources who’ve had recent dealings with him, Simpson has a tight working arrangement with WireImage, the mega-agency and wire service that rules the red-carpet at nearly every high-profile event in the western hemisphere,” according to Radar. “On several occasions, a camera-wielding Simpson has gone toe-to-toe with other snappers for shots of his own daughters, then approved only his own images for distribution through WireImage. At other times, he has provided the agency with exclusive (and even racy) shots of his daughters on family getaways or in other putatively private moments.”

Neither Simpson nor WireImage returned calls for comment, but other photogs are said to be “not happy” with the arrangement.

Notes from all over
Nancy Grace was voted by Maxim.com editors into the top slot of “Television’s Least Appealing Ladies.” Calamity Jane of “Deadwood” came in second, and Tina Fey of “30 Rock” was number three.  . . . Some people think that a few pics of Cindy Crawford’s five-year-old daughter modeling for Melissa Odabash’s line of children’s swim wear are a tad too sexy. In one shot, little Kaya Jordan Gerber is topless, shown from the back, glancing over her shoulder. A tattoo — temporary, no doubt — is on her lower back. “I’m not sure the classic ‘I’m topless but you can’t see my boobies, hee!’ pose is appropriate for someone who watches Barney,” notes one poster a discussion board. . . . More than a month after she got hitched, Pamela Anderson says she and her husband Kid Rock have slept together. “Not pregnant yet,” she announced on her web site. “But we have consummated the marriage!”

Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop Mondays through Thursdays on MSNBC.com

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