Bobby Brown gets open about addiction during his marriage to Whitney Houston.
In the second half of A&E’s Biography: Bobby Brown, which aired Tuesday night, the singer spoke of being addicted to crack, heroin, cocaine and alcohol before eventually sobering up. He also shared the “big misconception” about his marriage to Houston.
Brown, 53, was portrayed in the press as a “bad boy” during his relationship with Houston and blamed for her drug spiral. However, he said the angelic-voiced “Greatest Love of All” singer was the more experienced drug user when they got together, which he found out on their wedding day in 1992.
On the day of their wedding, the New Edition alum was “scared to death” and locked himself in a bathroom where he “drank, smoked, sniffed,” cocaine, he candidly recalled. It was his now-wife and then-girlfriend Alicia Etheredge who actually helped him get over his nervousness — and talk him out of the bathroom.
When he came out feeling ready to get married, he saw his bride-to-be for the first time and she “did a bunch of coke.” While he called it a “shocker” to see her “sniffing for the first time” amid his wedding-day jitters — and worrying about whether he was doing the right thing — it made him feel like they “had more in common.” with Houston than he thought.
However: “I was new in [using cocaine] and she’s probably been doing it for a while,” he said.
Brown said that when he and Houston weren’t getting high, things were great. “She was just the kindest, sweetest person I knew. They were not initially “in the clutches of the disease”. They were focused on raising their new baby, Bobbi Kristina, who was born in 1993, and would “party” on the weekends. Cocaine soon became “a problem in our marriage…. After a while, we just lost our minds. “
Brown admitted that in addition to cocaine, he also smoked heroin and crack, the latter mixed with marijuana.
“Being an addict is really hard,” said Brown, who has been sober from drugs for 20 years and from alcohol for two. “You don’t know you’re an addict until it gets worse and worse and worse.”
One of the worst moments was touring with the reunited New Edition in 1997, when Houston joined them on tour. Brown recalled being so high he thought Houston was trying to kill him. He said he threw everyone off the tour bus, pulled over, and ran through a field with a .357 Magnum in hand and cocaine, crack and weed in various bags.
“You’re trying to kill me!” He recalled screaming when the owner of the property came outside with a shotgun pointed at him. Brown then left the tour due to the drama and a breathing problem, describing it as the “lowest of lows.”
But that wasn’t his “low point.” That comes after he was jailed in Florida for 65 days in 2000 after violating his parole four years earlier in a drunk driving incident. His addiction was at its peak when he went to jail, but when he left he said he was completely clean and sober from narcotics. However, Houston did not sober up during his incarceration.
“When Whitney picked me up [from jail]”Of course there were drugs in the car,” he recalls. “And I didn’t want any. I was grateful I didn’t. It was outside of my system. I knew then that I had gone to another realm. I was in a different room then. That’s when the problems with me and her started. I wanted her to be as sober as I was. It was really hard for both of us to stay together and be together afterwards.”
He said Houston was “still using hard drugs,” and while he was free himself, he began to overindulge in alcohol and developed an addiction there. Brown insisted they “would still be together if it weren’t for drugs.” Drugs just overwhelmed us.”
Brown also wanted to clear up a “big misconception,” and it was that he physically abused Houston during their admittedly “turbulent” marriage. Brown was charged with battery in 2003 after an altercation with Houston that left her with a bruise on her cheek and a severed upper lip. He was sentenced to 60 days in prison for violating his probation terms.
“Big misunderstanding on my part [was that I was] Physically abused Whitney,” he said. “I never physically hit her — on purpose.”
Of the injury, Brown claimed Houston “got in the way of a fight I had with one of the drug dealers that we were dealing with.” He claimed he was sober and “cheered” the dealer to make sure he didn’t come back to their house.
“Whitney got in the way,” he claimed. “My hand went back, hit her. That was the worst time in my life. It was something I felt really bad about. I never expected to lay my hands on her and to this day I wish it hadn’t happened.”
In 2006, Houston filed for separation from Brown, and their divorce was finalized the next year. While he came into the marriage with $55 million — Houston’s father forced him to show him his bank statements before the couple were allowed to marry “The Voice” — he walked away with nothing, including custody of Bobbi Kristina.
“I left everything on the table,” he said, including his cars, house and money. He moved to Los Angeles and lived in his car in future wife Etheredge’s driveway until his legal divorce. Brown then dated Etheredge, a music executive with whom he had a longtime friendship, and they married in 2012.
That was also the year Houston died of coronary artery disease and cocaine poisoning after drowning in a hotel bathtub. Brown learned the news while touring with New Edition. His longtime bandmates told him as he walked off stage.
Brown started crying as he recalled being “in shock” from the news. “It was just amazing man… That was the worst time of my life knowing she was gone… I wasn’t there… I wish I could have been there for her. But we had our beds made and we had to lie in them.”
In hindsight, Brown said, “Knowing what happened… I think we could have helped each other. I think she would still be here if we didn’t get divorced.”
After the documentary, Brown has a new documentary, Bobby Brown: Every little step, which focuses on his life now with Etheredge and the deaths of daughter Bobbi Kristina and son Bobby Jr. and will air Tuesday night at 10pm after the document. The regular timeslot is Tuesdays at 9pm starting June 7th.