Houston, who died on Saturday, was found in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton hotel. While reporting live from Los Angeles, Grace appeared on CNN on Monday and said she wanted to know, “who let [Whitney Houston] slip, or pushed her, underneath that water?” She added, “Apparently, no signs of force or trauma to the body. Who let Whitney Houston go under her water?”
Grace appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Thursday. Host Robin Roberts said that Grace had “stirred up a hornets nest” and “angered a lot of people” with her comments. GMA legal analyst Dan Abrams clashed with Grace and thought she should apologize for what he called inappropriate speculation.
“I understand that some people may consider that jarring or harsh, but there is nothing delicate or nice about a murder, a death, an unexpected death, or an autopsy,” Grace said as she defended herself.
“Can’t you just say, ‘I was wildly speculating and I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said it. It was inappropriate,’” Abrams asked. Grace said it was not speculation. “They look to see if it was a homicide, if it was natural causes, or accident. I know that’s not palatable, it’s not easy going down, but that is the reality of what medical examiners do.”
Abrams said that this was “not the reality of this particular investigation.” Grace said that he was arguing with her about “semantics.”
“No…I’m arguing with you over going on television and making a comment that I think was rightfully viewed as inappropriate. And sometimes there’s a time to say ‘you know what, I shouldn’t have said that in retrospect. A nicer way to say that, or a more accurate way to say that would have been x, y, or z,’” Abrams said.
Grace said that she understood where Abrams was coming from. “It would have been true to say, ‘they’re looking for cause of death,’ but what that means in the real world, not the ivory tower of Harvard Law School…but the real world an autopsy, of why her body was transported to the Coroner’s Office, is to determine cause of death whether it be overdose, natural causes, accident, or homicide. It is not a homicide and I am thankful for that, but I still want the truth.”
The ladies of “The View” also weighed in on Grace’s statement. Co-host Barbara Walters immediately brought up the issue of ratings. “She doesn’t have a crime to get into…this gives her an issue, otherwise there was no issue for her,” Walters said, referring to the kind of stories Grace typically covers for HLN. Walters and co-host Joy Behar seemed to be in agreement that Grace’s comment was motivated by a desire to increase her ratings.
Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that Grace was an “advocate for victims.” Both Walters and Behar spoke over her and chimed, “ratings, ratings.” Whoopi Goldberg weighed in and said that Grace’s comments were “a little too much,” and that she should have “taken the out that Dan [Abrams] was trying to give her” on “Good Morning America.” Watch the clip of “The View” below, and the “Good Morning America” segment above.
by Rebecca Shapiro