Mel Gibson won't be at Whitney Houston's star-studded funeral service in Newark, NJ on Saturday -- but the late star's family extended an invitation to the actor, director and recovering alcoholic, Houston's rep confirms to Us Weekly.
Although Gibson, 56, is unable to attend the somber affair due to prior commitments, the controversial Braveheart star once attempted to help Houston, 48 when she died in Beverly Hills last Saturday, with her own substance abuse problems, a source confirms.
(TMZ was first to report the story, adding that Houston's family was "extremely appreciative" of the time he spent trying to help several years ago.)
"Alcoholism is something that runs in my family. It's something that's close to me," Gibson has said.
"Addiction is a deadly disease," another source tells Us of Houston's own battle. The star, who had been frank about her use of cocaine, marijuana, pills and alcohol, was partying hard in Hollywood the nights leading up to her Feb. 11 death. "Drugs and alcohol were her demons," the source says.
Kevin Costner, Alicia Keys, Clive Davis, Aretha Franklin, Tyler Perry, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Kim Burrell, Rickey Minor, Donnie McClurkin, Marvin Winans and Cece Winans will be among the mourners at Houston's funeral service at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ on Saturday.
PHOTOS: Whitney Houston 1963-2012
The Grammy-winning singer will be laid to rest on Sunday at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, NJ -- in a plot adjacent to her father, John Russell Houston, who died in 2003