Bobby Brown Talks Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina With Robin Roberts
“When you find love, you find it,” Bobby Brown told Roberts, describing his relationship with ex-wife Whitney Houston. “Or it finds you, I should say. It was so instant. We were so much like each other that it made sense.”
The 20/20 interview aired on Tuesday, June 7, ahead of the June 13 release of his memoir “Every Little Step: My Story.”
Brown and Whitney met at the 1989 Soul Train Awards and were married three years later. It was the day of the couple’s nuptials when Brown first witnessed Houston “hunched over a bureau, snorting a line of coke.” It has been widely believed that Brown introduced Houston to drugs.
“It wasn’t me who started her,” he insisted. “I take my part and I take it hard for me even being a part of it, but we all have our own minds and some of us are stronger than others.”
He added: “She wasn’t that. The drugs wasn’t her. She did drugs but drugs didn’t do her. She knew how to handle herself. It only made me love and want to protect her more.”
The couple struggled with addiction, with Brown admitting to being once hooked on heroin and cocaine. Despite the birth of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, the couple still abused drugs. They would go on cocaine binges on one end of their mansion while Bobbi Kristina was tended to by nannies in another part of the home.
“I always made it a point never to let her see me or my wife in that situation,” he said, though he noted the addiction became difficult to hide. Brown admitted he and Houston failed as parents to a growing Bobbi Kristina.
“We failed Bobbi Kris. We could have been better. We should have been better. To be so young and have everything we wanted was a blessing and a curse,” he said.
The former frontman of R&B group New Edition admits his relationship with Kristina was on the rocks after the passing of Houston in 2012. Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills Hotel bathroom. Cocaine use played a role in her accidental drowning.
Father and daughter were reconciling their relationship, with Bobbi even deciding to move from her Georgia home to Los Angeles to be closer to her father.
However, that was not to be. The 22-year-old was found unconscious in the bathtub—eerily similar to her mother—at her suburban Atlanta townhouse in January of 2015. She would die a few months later from lobar pneumonia. Drug use was also attributed to her death.
The 47-year-old blames himself.
“If I had those two days back. If I went and got her, instead of waiting for her to come to me,” Brown tearfully said. “She was supposed to come out here to Los Angeles with me,” he said, breaking down in tears. “If I could get those two days back, my daughter would be here.”
Brown also shared the last moments with his daughter when he made the painful decision take her off of life support.
“The last thing I told her, I just said, ‘Let go.’ I said, ‘It’s okay, you can go with your mom, daddy’ll be all right. I love you. You can rest,'” Brown told Roberts. “The hardest thing I had to do in my life was tell my daughter to let go,” he said. “I don’t wish that on my worst enemy—That is the worst pain in the world.”
Brown has remained drug free for “10 to 12 years,” but admitted alcohol use is still an issue for the celebrity.
“Alcohol has been a problem. I go back often to reboot,” the musician told Roberts. “That’s life. Everybody drinks. Sometimes I drink.”
His new wife, Alicia Etheredge, serves as a support system for Brown.
“When you’re living with somebody who has fought so many addictions and has come so far and then you see there is still something holding them back and there’s still something weighing them down, and there’s still something that is not allowing them to be their best, you just want to help them and support them,” she said.
“Every Little Step: My Story” is scheduled for release on June 13.