Bobby Brown Opens Up About Daughter Bobbi Kristina’s Death



Bobby Brown acknowledged in an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts that he felt he and his late ex-wife Whitney Houston had failed their daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, who died last year in an eerily similar way as her mother had.

“We should have been better,” Brown told Roberts in an interview for a special edition for “20/20.” “We could have been better.”

Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012, after being found face down in a water-filled bathtub with drug paraphernalia nearby. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled her death an accidental drowning.

Bobbi Kristina’s death on July 26, 2015, was ruled to be from “lobar pneumonia” and lack of oxygen resulting in brain damage after the 22-year-old was also found in a water-filled bathtub with a mix of drugs and alcohol in her system. She spent six months in a coma before she died.

The Brown family thought Bobbi Kristina was being manipulated by her friend Nick Gordon, who was rumored to be Whitney’s adopted son. Bobbi Kristina called him “her brother.”

“It’s not a mystery to me,” Bobby Brown told Roberts. “The same thing that happened to my daughter is what happened to Whitney…. There’s only one person that was around both occasions. Only one person who says they were there to protect them … and he didn’t.”

Bobby Brown Through the Years
SLIDESHOW: Bobby Brown Through the Years

Last month, Bobby Brown joined the conservator of Bobbi Kristina’s estate in the $10 million wrongful death civil suit against Nick Gordon. Gordon strongly denies he had anything to do with Bobbi Kristina’s death, and his attorneys told ABC News in a statement that the lawsuit is “slanderous and meritless.” No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon.

After Whitney’s death, Bobbi Kristina and Gordon’s relationship became murky and raised questions about whether they were romantically together or not.

Then, in 2013, Bobbi Kristina claimed in social media postings that she and Gordon were married.

“I’m tired of hearing people say, ‘Eww you’re engaged to your brother or if Whitney was still alive would we be together or would she approve of this.’ Let me clear up something. We aren’t even real brother and sister, nor is he my adoptive brother,” Brown wrote on Facebook before she claimed they had tied the knot.

She also tweeted a picture of her hand on top of his, with both sporting rings on that special finger.

“@nickdgordon! #HappilyMarried• SO#Inlove• if you didn’t get it the first time that is,” she captioned the pic. It also had a thumbs-up sticker in the top left of the pic that read “YERP,” slang for yes.

But her father’s lawyer, Christopher Brown of Brown & Rosen LLC, told ABC News in February 2015 that “Bobbi Kristina is not and has never been married to Nick Gordon.” There has also been no legal documentation to prove the couple was ever married.

When Bobbi Kristina was in a coma, the Browns and the Houstons were at times at odds over her care, but also came together to try to protect her privacy.

Bobby Brown raised some controversy among the family when he told fans during a April 2015 concert that Bobbi Kristina was “awake.” Brown’s wife and manager, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, and Brown’s attorney later clarified the statement to say Bobbi Kristina had been moved to a rehabilitation center but her quality of life at that time was still unknown.

But Bobby Brown stands by what he said.

“She was definitely following me when I walked around the room, when I talked to her, when her siblings talk to her,” Brown told Roberts. “She was definitely following us.”

“It was reassuring,” he continued. “For me, at that time, it reassured me that she knew and she was in a hospital and something had happened. She wasn’t able to tell me what happened, but she definitely was awake and aware.”

Bobbi Kristina died three months later. She was buried beside her mother in a Westfield, New Jersey, cemetery.

“The last thing I told her, I just said, ‘Let go.’ I said, ‘It’s OK, you can go with your mom, daddy’ll be all right. I love you. You can rest now,’” Brown said. “Hardest thing I had to do in my life was tell my daughter to let go…. I don’t wish that on my worst enemy or any enemy. That is the worst pain in the world.”

Brown’s new book, “Every Little Step,” will be available in stores on June 13.

William Morrow

ABC News’ Michael Rothman contributed to this report

Categories: Entertainment News, National News