In her memoir The Black Mother of Hollywood — excerpted exclusively in the current issue of PEOPLE — black-ish star Jenifer Lewis opens up about a candid moment she had with legendary singer Whitney Houston.
“Whitney and I took to each other like eggs and bacon,” Lewis writes of her The Preacher’s Wife costar.
“Lordy, we laughed, sang and acted a fool together! I loved Whitney, not only for her extraordinary talents but for her warmth and humor. [But] it became more and more clear that she carried heavy burdens,” Lewis continues of Houston, who was found submerged in the bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2012. (The cause of death was deemed accidental drowning, and an autopsy showed she had various drugs in her system.)
Lewis has battled her own demons — a sex addiction and bipolar disorder — and was quick to tout the benefits of seeing a therapist.
“I said to her, ‘You know Whitney, I went to therapy to take care of my challenges, and baby …’ Before I could say another word she whipped her head around and said, ‘Oh no Mama! My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will take care of me,’ ” recalls Lewis. “She said it with such fervor and determination that I never brought it up again.”