Arsenio Hall found himself moved to tears while interviewing Tika Sumpter on his talk show on Wednesday.
“Whitney was everything,” said Sumpter, who played the Grammy winner’s daughter. “You’d be sitting in a corner, and I’d be just kind of quiet, they’d be changing for the set-up and she’s like, ‘You okay, baby? Who do I need to talk to to make sure you’re all right?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m good’ and she’s like, ‘All right, I got you.’ She was just like a mother.”
There was something about Sumpter’s spot-on impersonation of the troubled singer that got to Hall. “Now I’m really missing Whitney,” he said. “You hit it. You hit those beats so perfectly. She sticks with you, huh?”
Looking emotional and at somewhat of a loss for words, Hall tried to move on and talk about Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, which Sumpter is starring in on OWN, but he paused and went back to Houston, saying, “She was a great girl and she would love that I’m doing this again,” he said of his revived talk show, which Houston had guested on several times in the ’90s. “She was always a big supporter, good friend,” he added, and then joked about having to edit his emotional moment out of the broadcast.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t want to make you cry,” said Sumpter, grabbing his hand.
“It’s this good thing,” Hall responded. “It’s this deep love for her.”