"For her 26th birthday, Whitney threw a big bash at her $11 million Morris County, N.J., estate that has an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis court and 32-track recording studio. Among the many celebrity guests was Eddie Murphy, long rumored to be her heartthrob.
When asked if the rather large diamond ring (5.5 karats) dominating her left had is the present Murphy reportedly gave her that night, Whitney flashes a broad, girlish smile and casually extends her hand. The baguette diamonds sparkle in the sunlight. “Isn’t it beautiful?” she asks. “Yes, Edward gave me this ring.”
It is the only piece of jewelry she wears other than a diamond cross - from her mother, Cissy Houston - in one ear.
"Yeah, we’re friends," she says of Murphy. "Just two very friendly people, the kind of friends that don’t really have a got-to-see-you, got-to-have-you kind of relationship. Because of my career and his career - I’m here and he’s there; I’m there and he’s here - it’s hard to establish a relationship. Even when you have two people who have the money, the fame and the same kind of status. It’s the time factor - having the time to establish a relationship and to try to keep it."
Whitney says she was introduced to Murphy by Arsenio Hall (“Arsenio is my buddy. We have a different kind of closeness than Eddie and I.”) about three years ago, and “We’ve been dating ever since.” But, she admits, there are times when she does not want to even think about Eddie Murphy. “Like with any man, he can get on your nerves,” she says. “Forget about the other stuff. He’s still just a man!”
Whitney says she prefers to date men with a sense of humor “who know the Lord” and “who know who they are” and can just be themselves. “Basically,” she says, “if you put Whitney Houston aside, what you’ll find is a woman. You put Eddie Murphy aside, you’ll find a man. You put Arsenio aside, you’ll find a man. All that other stuff is just the gravy’ we have become. But before we were this, we were humans. People. That’s the bottom line.”“