Ray J on Whitney Houston 'I Really Miss My Friend'

3/10/2012 10:53 AM PST

Without mentioning her by name, Ray J told reporters yesterday he is "still hurting" from the death of Whitney Houston and that he's been having a "tough time" since she passed. 

Ray J was at an event to support the Brotherhood Crusade and Mothers in Action Organizations ... and he knew the increased media presence was there because of his relationship with Houston.

So he decided to address the issue without being asked, telling reporters, "I really miss my friend, you know, I really do. I’m still hurting."

Ray J said he still keeps a picture of Whitney on his phone and looking at it helps him through the day.

Houston passed away on February 11. She was 48.