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October 19th, 2012
05:45 PM ET

Tyler Perry on the night Whitney Houston died: "I'm looking at the water on the table as the family is breaking down ... it's vibrating from the bass below"

Coming up tonight at 9, Piers Morgan invites Tyler Perry into his "lair" for an honest and revealing primetime conversation.

Most-widely known as the brains behind the "Madea" films franchise, Perry was also a friend of the late Whitney Houston and provided the plane used to transport her body from California to New Jersey:

"It was beyond awful. I tell you, there was - we - we tried to send a hearse as a decoy. They found out we had the body in a van. And there are paparazzi 50 deep following the van. We - I have them move the plane into the hangar and close the door, bring the - bring the van in," says Perry, describing the suffocating media coverage of the singer's death.

"One of the hired drivers is trying to take pictures of them putting the body on the plane. It was just beyond disrespectful for her family and everyone else. And I understand she was a superstar, but she didn't deserve to be treated that way in the media toward the end, you know?"

On the night Houston passed, February 11, the 43-year-old star of "Alex Cross" was called to the Beverly Hilton, where an industry party continued despite the breaking tragedy.

"Walking into that hotel room and seeing - it - it was so bizarre. I'm - I'm think - I'm thinking these people cannot know that she has died," he tells the "Piers Morgan Tonight" host. "People are screaming my name, 'Tyler!  Tyler!' and I'm just like this can't be true."

Upon arriving at the floor where Houston's family was staying, Perry was struck by a conflict of extremes:

"Her family's there. They're all in tears. And I'm in the room with them and - and the coroners and the police are three doors down from where we are," he reveals. "I'm looking at the water on the table as the family is breaking down. It's vibrating from the bass below. I just think 'what is this? What is this, that this woman's life is not worth a moment of silence.'"

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in this evening at 9 as Perry details a complicated relationship with his father, and explains the political climate ahead of the general election.
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  1. guest

    "I'm looking at the water on the table as the family is breaking down. It's vibrating from the bass below. I just think 'what is this? What is this, that this woman's life is not worth a moment of silence.'"
    He took the words right out of my mouth regarding that pre-grammy party.

    October 19, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mona

      Tyler, it was the Grammys, the music industry had all gathered to celebrate, but tragically it became a celebration of Whitney's life, filled with sorrow, tears and laughter and yes blasting music. The Grammys was Whitney's favourite event of the year. The timing of her death is incredible and only God knows about that. She was not alone, but with all who gathered It became Whitney's night. Tyler, you said she had music blasting in celebration of Michael Jackson's death. Whitney would have wanted the same. The event was an expression of love for Whitney, NOT disrespect. The world loves Whitney!

      October 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • Robin M

        There was no hotel celebration of Michael Jackson's death. It is really a shame that someone who knows nothing about the bible would comment in such a way. If the public loves Whitney then allow her family to grieve in private and stop making assumptions and disrespectful. Whitney's actions towards those she lost is a matter of information she has learned, personally, in the time she personaly has spent with those particular individuals. Her behavior of one individual does not identify what she would do in every instance of an friend's death. Do not assume that since you or anyone has listened to a number of her songs that you know her – you don't. If you really love Whitney leave the family alone and stop assuming you know what she would do when you have never had so much as a personal conversation about the weather with her.

        December 10, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jennifer

    Mr. Tyler Perry was an incredible interview. Thank you. He's not someone that I'd followed or been a "fan" of, but after watching this I'm officially a respectful "fan" of his. Hes so genuine and seems so balanced/settled, I'm in awe of him because of his past and how he's turned out. Wonderful man.

    October 20, 2012 at 12:34 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Frank King Photos

    When I think of what happened to Whitney, my mind goes to Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Amy Winehouse. Together, the four of them inspired me to write this essay:

    October 20, 2012 at 6:39 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. phillipe

    Piers Morgan is arguably the worst interviewer ever.

    He talks over his guests and is combative with everyone. He has no manners and can not attract excellent guests ( not to Larry king's degree). He spends half of his life talking about how America is a third rate broken down toilet. has Questioning guests about whether American can come back, etc.. Touting China, and always implying America's best days are behind us. He is an obnoxious third rate national enquirer tabloid journalist. Why CNN would put him in this position i will never know?

    This guy is best suited doing ambush reports and interviewing dictators, he has no place on national TV.

    One of his only great interviews was with Arnold Schwarzenegger Why you ask? Because Arnold commanded Piers' respect and we got to listen to an interesting person who has had an extraordinary life ( good and bad)... For once we got to hear the guest which is who we are trying to hear from.

    One example of this mouth piece is the interview with the Dallas cast.. You could just tell Larry Hagman and the others were blown away by his controlling babbling interview style. They could not get a word in edge wise.

    They say the sign of a great conversationalist someone's ability to listen more than they speak.. Piers has not learned his lesson.

    America does not want a lecture from some third rate English tabloid egomaniac.

    October 20, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mona

      I couldn't stop laughing when reading your comment about Piers. You are funny! I can see your point about the interruptions, but I love Piers Morgan. It appears you watch his show despite the interruptions. I love Piers.

      October 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Natalie Pantaleo Smoley

    The world needs more Tyler Perry's; what an inspirational human being.

    October 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. evelyn lane

    I am a white, 64 yr old lady that grew up in Cleveland and Chattanooga, TN. I am a life-long Democract. Instead of asking Tyler why so many blacks are Democrat, he should have asked why ANY black would be a Republican. I do not know ANY Republican that is not an overt or covert bigot. My husband and I haven ended many friendships because of this fact and because my husband, being retired from higher education. had many wonderful black mentors and friends and also we truly live our Christian/Family values we just don't talk about how great we are. If Piers really knew the America I know he would have never asked that question. That question rang with racisim and it hurt me that Tyler had to be gracious and answer..such a stupid question. I could only see those horrible faces of the Tea Party.

    October 20, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ann

      Evelyn: I agree with you 100%, especially your comment about Republicans. I wonder who edits Pier's interview questions before he goes on. His question about the "fairness" of the majority of the African American vote going to Obama was ignorant and racist, and shows a lack of understanding of American culture. Tyler Perry was very diplomatic in his response even though it was obvious that the question disturbed him. In this case, I sincerely believe that Piers owes the American public an apology. Thanks for sharing your input.

      October 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Melissa F. Houston

    The Pre Grammy Party should have been postponed...It was extremely disrespectful to Whitney Houston who lay dead just up on the 4th floor...Great interview with Tyler Perry...He is a True friend of Nippy's...Tyler is being Blessed and he will continue to be successful as God leads him.

    October 21, 2012 at 12:42 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mona

      It was NOT disrespectful to Whitney. The Grammys was Whitney's favourite event of the year, she would have wanted the music to continue instead of silence that night.The room below her was filled with her industry family,who loved and cared about her.They all gathered to celebrate,but it became a celebration of Whitney's life with music, the way Whitney would have wanted it, instead of the silence of a funeral home. I can understand the family in that room breaking down, they were there to look out for her, especially if she was taking medication. The world loves Whitney.

      October 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Steven Tayanipour

    From: Steven Tayanipour, PE, SE, Fellow-ASCE, Fellow-SAME, MSCE (2++, & Ph.D. Credit), MBA, and a Volunteer for Disaster Safety Assessment, especially on earthquakes, etc…., Certified with FEMA, on Incident Command System (ICS)… for disasters; Certified Nuclear Fallout Shelter Analyst (Cold-War Era, Trained by US-DoD, to design shelters to hide Americans during cold-war era…)

    Is USA going to go to WAR again, and/or to encourage Israel to do it with our support—to attack Iran, to ignite a possible World-War III?

    Here is a VOICE of an Iranian/American to the USA's politicians.

    I feel the WEST is NOT taking a FAIR and RIGHT approach with IRAN, where there CAN be a PEACFUL solution, otherwise; to make Iran a friend of the WEST again, as long as we negotiate FAIRLY. While the West is worried about Human Rights violation, we are, in fact causing many families lose their loved ones, as they suffer immensely due to turmoil caused by not knowing how to negotiate with other nations. Those Western negotiators, who are assigned to attend meetings to NEGOTIATE with Iran, need to understand the history and the real intent of IRAN; and not to focus on the rhetoric alone, and realize that Iran can become their friend, if they LISTEN carefully, rather than having a pre-occupied perception of Iran.

    My heart goes for the people of the world who suffer through the turmoil, not only in Iran, but the world!

    Is Mitt Romney, if he becomes the president, preparing for WAR with Iran!? I hope not; not WAR again!

    Is Obama making a huge mistake in denying IRAN from their rights to export and import? We have been taking the WRONG path!

    I encourage all of our politicians read the BOOK by David Hawkins, M.D.: Power vs. FORCE (the bottom line is Power of LOVE is stronger than the FORCES of EVIL: war and denying people/nations their rights).

    Instead of spending trillions of $$’s into WARS, we at the USA need to fix our $2.2 Trillion Deficient Infrastructures!

    Recent History (1980’s): We destroyed IRAN by selling WAR MACHINES to Saddam Hussein to kill millions of Kurds, his own people and Iranians; destroying IRAN’s largest oil refinery (in Abadan, the best in the world), and more! Our funds are needed to build our infrastructures; while we spent it on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been trying to get ready to create more chaos. The point is we do NOT know HOW to REALLY negotiate! Negotiation is a two way street; we have not been following the right path! There is a CLEVER solution with IRAN, without WAR, which has not been exercised! LISTEN to IRANIANS, and do not have a preconceived idea, without SOLID evidence! Iran has a GREAT CULTURE; they declared Human Rights before anyone else! Iranians are more civilized than you can imagine!

    History (1953): Let us go back to 1953, when we dealt with IRAN. We interfered with Iran's internal affair... We put the Shah back to power to get Iran’s oil, because Mossadegh opposed dealing with Britain. Yes, it was all about OIL; and of course the opposition was concerned about the unfair law passed by the puppets of the West on "capitulations"!
    For the first time, THEN (during 1976-78), we listened to the opposition, and that was when the 25 years Oil lease with Oil Cartel was about to expire, which ended in 1978 (1953+25=1978)!

    The supporters of the Iranian revolution remembered 1953’s West intervention! After the Shah was escorted back to Iran, in 1953, by the West (the regime that was hurting the nationalist Iranians, putting the opposition in jail), they high-jacked Iran’s oil and shared among themselves: These are the FACT: where the shares of the Iran’s oil went between 1953 and 1978 (during the 25 yrs. of the West’s intervention: 40% went to BP (formerly called Anglo-Iranian Oil company), and all other major USA oil companies ended up with 40% share of the pot, with the remaining 20% went to two other European countries: 14% to Royal Dutch Shell Oil & 6% to CFP ( of France). That contract expired in 1978, and the Shah of Iran, due to opposition pressure (without admitting that Mossadegh, the 1953 Prime Minister, was right) did not extend the 25-yrs. oil lease! Naturally, Shah lost favor with the West! THEN, it was the FIRST TIME, the West started paying attention to Human Rights issue (which had been in violation for years already; and that was when, for the first time, the opposition had a chance; you know the rest!).

    But the opposition, who were nationalists, would not play the game the West desired! How could they? They have just had a REVOLUTION, to CHANGE things! We helped Saddam Hussein, the TYRANT, to attack Iran that suffered a terrible WAR with IRAQ, and millions of Iranians lost their lives, in addition to economic impacts thereof (and PEOPLE who lived through it, SUFFERED greatly); WHAT A SHAME!

    Both sides (Iran & and the US) needed to REALLY talk, it did not happen!

    Because the present Iran regime has not been playing the game right—the way the WEST wants, they have been targeted. While we have been bribing the Iranian's neighbors who really do not care for the West, we have NOT BEEN ABLE to negotiate, FAIRLY with IRAN, with its 7000 years of culture: Iran that RESPECTS woman’s rights, and CAN become friend with the West and even Israel, without us spending trillions of $$’s in war games…

    It is ironic, there are more HUMAN RIGHTS being violated by many other countries around the world, but, since they ARE playing the GAMES right with the WEST, they are not being targeted!

    In summary, all I am trying to say is we SHOULD NOT go to WAR because of rhetoric, and punish/HURT the PEOPLE of IRAN by denying them their RIGHTS to import and export for their needs. We need to learn to TALK and NEGOTIATE RIGHTLY & FAIRLY!

    Negotiation with Iran is NOT being played RIGHTLY and JUSTLY, we have been creating more enemies instead, we need to have a REAL NEGOTIATION!

    Just a reminder and NOTE: Since USA is based on Christian principles, we need to follow the biblical commands, when we make decisions on HOW to handle our affair: Prov.3:5-6; and LOVE and neighbors, including IRANIANS.

    BTW, I assure you, Iran is not an enemy of USA! Iran was the only Islamic country, that I know, condemned recent RIOTS, while condemning the most STUPID anti-Islamic Video. We help Egypt, Pakistan, and etc. financially, and did not allow IRAN’s funds to be released all these years, while some of the Islamic nations we bribe, burn USA’s flag, who also attacked our embassies. While we helped the revolutionaries in Libya, they killed our Ambassador; while Iran freed all the hostages without any harm; Iranians are not our enemies, and we must start developing a friendly relationship with IRAN, instead of trying to hurt them!

    Good luck with your FAIR negotiation!

    October 21, 2012 at 2:46 am | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lianne

      THANK YOU! Could you consider running for president? Show more people credentials like that?

      October 24, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  9. ANNIE


    October 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Leta

    I have enjoyed many movies by Tyler Perry but can trurthfully say I never knew what an incredible wonderful person he is. Bless him for his truth is speaking of his faith and for the love he showed for his mother and others in his life. His honestly and the peace he has found with his father. I have a new wonderful respect for this fine Christian Man and wish him much more success and especially with the Own network which gets to the heart and soul of issues. Piers Morgan did a great job on this interview.

    October 22, 2012 at 4:08 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. patrickparkscoach

    Whitney is a true inspiration...even to Obama

    October 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Griff.

    "So? What is a Mulatto-Muslim?? Quote: Mulatto is a term used to refer to a person who is born from one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry.[1] Contemporary usage of the designation is generally confined to situations in which the term is considered relevant in an historical context, as now most people of mixed white and black ancestry rarely choose to self-identify as mulatto. Unquote.
    Could this be Obama???

    October 23, 2012 at 4:14 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. fmxfunds

    pomotec, tenlotu,

    May 19, 2018 at 5:09 am | Report abuse | Reply

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