By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 16, 2004 03:01 PM

Whitney Houston is in rehab and “thanks everyone for their support and prayers,” the Grammy winner’s Los Angeles-based publicist, Nancy Seltzer, said in a brief statement Monday, the Associated Press reports.

Seltzer, who has long fended off inquiries about Houston’s sometimes erratic behavior and bone-thin appearance, declined to offer any further details, such as where the singer began treatment, or what the 40-year-old Houston is hoping to battle under medical care.

The statement did say that Houston entered the facility on Monday evening.

Late last month, Houston’s husband of 12 years, R&B singer Bobby Brown (they have a daughter together, 10-year-old Bobbi Kristina), was sentenced to 60 days behind bars for violating probation. One of the violations included a December misdemeanor battery charge for allegedly striking Houston in their suburban Atlanta home, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut inside her lip.

Back in a December 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Houston (who often seemed distracted during the sit-down) said that she had abused drugs in the past, but that she had survived the ordeal through prayer.

“I partied a lot. Trust me: I partied my tail off,” Houston told Sawyer, adding, “You get to a point where you know the party’s over.”

She also firmly denied tabloid reports that she had used crack cocaine. “Crack is cheap. I make too much for me to ever smoke crack,” Houston blurted out. “Let’s get that straight, okay? I don’t do crack. I don’t do that. Crack is whack.”

In January 2000, security officers at Hawaii’s Keahole Kona International Airport allegedly found less than half an ounce of marijuana and three partially smoked marijuana cigarettes in Houston’s bag.

The following year, Houston’s petty misdemeanor drug charge relating to the incident was dismissed after a drug counselor told prosecutors the singer did not require treatment for substance abuse.