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Whitney Houston's Friend

Threatening Legal Action

Over Drug Dealer Claims

5/17/2012 12:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0516_raffles-van-exel-with-whitney-houston_pcnOne of Whitney Houston's close friends -- a mysterious man who's been widely accused of supplying the singer with coke before her death -- is declaring war on media outlets that ran with the drug story ... and now, he's on a crusade to clear his name.

The friend -- an enigmatic celebrity sidekick named Raffles van Exel -- tells us, he is "neither the architect nor the culprit of the sudden demise of Whitney Houston."

Raffles was with Whitney in the hours before she died at the Beverly Hilton hotel in February -- and there were widespread reports strongly insinuating he was the singer's secret cocaine supplier.

There were other reports suggesting Van Exel was also the one who snapped the infamous picture of Whitney's body in a coffin ... and sold it to a tabloid newspaper.

But for the first time ever, Van Exel is adamantly denying all the reports -- and has begun taking aggressive legal steps to save his reputation.

Van Exel has started firing off cease and desist letters to media outlets reporting any nefarious connection between him and Whitney's death -- demanding full retractions asap ... or else.

Van Exel -- who describes himself as a "private consultant to the stars" -- has also been linked to Michael Jackson around the time of the singer's 2005 molestation trial, as well as jazz legend George Benson.

No one really knows who he is or what he does.

40 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

LiveOutLoud    

He knows that he did it, with his punk azz!!!

857 days ago
17.

jesikabelcher    

Raffles van Exel ?? seriously?? WHO names a person Raffles???? Now I want some chips for some reason.. lol

857 days ago
18.

Gsharon 710    

Wha..whar reputation would that be?

857 days ago
19.

JDoors    

Raffles (wtf?), I am "neither the architect nor the culprit of the sudden demise of Whitney Houston."

Dem's weasel words if I ever hear any.

857 days ago
20.

kathy    

Read Vanity Fair ..they say he also took took the funeral photo too.....

857 days ago
21.

Kali    

They need to look at Ray J

857 days ago
22.

charley    

This drug dealing (p) ...rick aint gonna do crap....he sues the find out more and more abouthis drug dealings and the azz ole would be in more trouble........just a jerk that enabled these peoples drug use...phk him and his suppliers....a frivolous lawsiut and one that the idiot wont go thru with.....they investigate this idiot until they put this low life piece of crap in jail!

857 days ago
23.

DJ    

Tsk tsk Harvey and TMZ! Stop acting like you don't know who Raffles is. Harvey knows him quite well and Raffles has him on speed dial.

857 days ago
24.

Kelly    

Actually... he has a flat-out winnable case against many including Newsweek. The magazine made "as fact" statements about illegal activity on Van Exel's part without attribution and without the golden word "allegedly." I don't know how the article got past the mag's attorneys.

857 days ago
25.

Open Mined    

The drugs came from somewhere. Tell truth. You know what and whose you are.

856 days ago
26.

Truth    

Wow, this video on Raffles says it all in his own f*cking words. Show this in Raffles court of law and watch this snake slither away ASAP! http://youtu.be/K1o3wp_7ulE

856 days ago
27.

Zak    

This guy must have that fish scales

854 days ago
28.

tenisha    

He's born and raised in the netherlands

853 days ago
29.

elbebo311    

im sorry i know Raffles Van Exel and he is a mazing person and friend. He dosent drink ore do drugs. He is always there to help a person in need. He was michael Jacksons best friend . and its my onor to be his friend.

849 days ago
30.

elbebo311    

im sorry i know Raffles Van Exel and he is a mazing person and friend. He dosent drink ore do drugs. He is always there to help a person in need. He was michael Jacksons best friend . and its my onor to be his friend.

__________

849 days ago
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