Alarming Revelations About Bobbi Kristina Brown's Death

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, had a full life ahead of her. She attempted a career as fledgling reality star, though many felt The Houstons: On Our Own felt exploitative and hypocritical (via Variety), and "intrusive" (per The Los Angeles Times). Regardless, Brown told Oprah Winfrey (via People) that she still wanted to pursue stardom via the "singing thing," as well as "some dancing" and "some acting" to carry on her mother and father's legacies. That future seemed promising for her, as her online covers of songs including Adele's "Someone Like You" and Houston's own "I'm Your Baby Tonight" went viral. Brown's father even gushed to Us Weekly that Bobbi Kristina was more talented than her famous parents.

Brown's future was cut tragically short in January 2015, when she almost drowned in a bathtub — in a nearly identical incident to the one that ended her mother's troubled life. She was left in a coma and placed on life support in hospice care until she died on July 26, 2015. She was just 22 years old. More details emerged in the months and years since her untimely and heartbreaking passing, each more unsettling than the last. Here's what we've learned so far.

Bobbi Kristina Brown suffered injuries before almost drowning

The Fulton County Medical Examiner confirmed in March 2016 — more than a year after the bathtub incident that left her in a coma — that Bobbi Kristina Brown died from a combination of drugs and drowning. According to People magazine, "marijuana, alcohol, 'a cocaine-related substance,' sedative and anti-anxiety medications and morphine" were found in her system. The medical examiner said it was unclear whether said morphine was actually from heroin use.

The most unsettling aspect of the medical examiner's report is that it was also unclear whether Brown's death was intentional or accidental. What is clear is that she was not in good health even before she nearly drowned: According to a medical report obtained by People, Brown weighed just 95 pounds at the time of her autopsy, which indicated that she was "under-nourished." Brown also reportedly had "depressions in her skull,"bruises on her arms and thighs, and "well-healed scars on the head and neck, torso, and extremities." The causes of those injuries and scars were not known.

It's worth noting that Bobby Brown told Us Weekly that Bobbi Kristina died three days before his birthday. According to Biography, his birthday is Feb. 5, but Bobbi Kristina's death was announced to be July 26, 2015. It's unclear what the New Edition singer meant by the remark.

Did Bobbi Kristina Brown inherit some of Whitney Houston's demons?

Drugs were reportedly found in Bobbi Kristina Brown's system at the time of her death, and the aspiring songbird is said to have had a severe substance abuse problem before her passing. Multiple sources told People that in addition to drinking heavily and frequently, Brown used cocaine, Xanax ,and heroin in the months leading up to her death. One of the sources said she'd been "in and out" of rehab several times following her mother Whitney Houston's passing. A family friend told People that Brown had previously admitted to using drugs in the past, but that as of summer 2014 vehemently denied that she was still using. When told that friends and family were "worried about [her]," Brown reportedly cited her mother's tragic death and said, "I've learned from her mistakes."

Brown's boyfriend Nick Gordon told the Daily Mail that Brown was desperate to numb her pain after Houston's death and turned to drugs as a means to that end, noting that her drug use was especially bad in the month before her drowning and that she'd refused to go to rehab again. He also alleged that she engaged in self-harm. Sources told People that after Houston's death, Brown had "a complete breakdown" from which it's possible she never fully recovered. Brown's aunt Pat Houston even later said in the 2018 documentary Whitney (via People) that Brown had "hated her life" since childhood and was once hospitalized for cutting her arms.

Bobbi Kristina Brown's family worried about her relationship with Nick Gordon

The Houstons did not support Bobbi Kristina Brown's relationship with Nick Gordon. In fact, Bobbi Kristina's grandmother, Cissy Houston, wrote her an open letter in 2013 begging her not to marry Gordon. Why? A source close to the family told People, "He's one of the only people who can actually get through to her sometimes, and I think he sometimes uses that to his advantage. He has the ability to influence her." A family friend added that when Whitney Houston was alive, "Whitney perhaps didn't see [the relationship with Bobbi Kristina] for what it was."

In 2014, Whitney's trust fund executor and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, filed a restraining order against Gordon after he allegedly "made threatening comments," posted threatening photos of guns, "sent harassing texts," and contested the distribution of Whitney's estate, according to People. He was also banned from Bobbi Kristina's bedside when she was in a coma, the Daily Mail reported, as well as her and Whitney Houston's funerals

In response, Gordon slammed Bobby Brown on Twitter for keeping him away from Whitney and Bobbi Kristina. "I would do stuff differently now," Gordon told the Daily Mail, adding, "But the fact that Bobby didn't let me into the funeral? No. He knows I didn't do anything wrong and that still affects me today." He also insisted that "Krissy, and her mom, would have wanted me there."

Bobbi Kristina Brown's relationship with Nick Gordon was somewhat toxic

If Nick Gordon is to be believed, there may have been even more issues exacerbating Bobbi Kristina Brown's mental health than the public realized. Gordon told the Daily Mail that while he and Brown never legally married (though they almost did), their relationship was quite serious, with Brown allegedly getting pregnant more than once, although none of the pregnancies resulted in the birth of a child. 

"We had a couple of miscarriages," Gordon confessed. "We would have loved to have a kid but we weren't planning on it yet and she was just such a young fragile person it took a toll on her." Gordon said that he and Brown nearly tied the knot on at least one occasion, explaining, "We went to the courthouse but the line was too long and we had a family reunion to get to in Florida. I said, 'Baby we got to hit the road.' I wish I had just waited that 30 minutes and done it." Still, their reasons for wanting to tie the knot weren't the healthiest. Gordon admitted that Brown was frequently jealous, though he insisted she had no reason to be. "She wanted to tell people we were married," he said. "She probably would have figured I had something to hide if I was like, 'No, let's not do that.'"

Nick Gordon claimed he tried to save Bobbi Kristina Brown

Nick Gordon has repeatedly denied allegations of violence against Bobbi Kristina Brown and playing a role in her death. In an April 2016 interview with the Daily Mail, Gordon claimed he attempted to resuscitate Brown after she nearly drowned on that fateful January day. In his account of that night, Gordon claimed he was at a bar with friends until a jealous Brown summoned him home around 4 a.m., because she thought he was out with other women. Gordon said he returned home to a "messed up" Brown, alleging that she'd been drinking and possibly using drugs. The two reportedly had a "little argument," but then they made up and were intimate in bed upstairs for about 45 minutes. Afterward, Gordon allegedly went downstairs to play video games. Brown was supposedly "doing her own thing," and must have entered the tub "sometime later." Gordon's friend Max Lomas discovered Brown in the bathtub the next morning. 

"It was a nightmare all over again," Gordon recalled, referencing Whitney Houston's death. "It was so traumatizing. Nothing went through my head. I dropped down to my knees, and I just started giving compressions as hard as I could and blowing in her mouth." Gordon said Brown seemed like she might have been recovering, explaining, "There was like a sigh of relief at one point. She spit up water. She did it on her own. I thought she was going to wake up ... that never happened."

What exactly was Nick Gordon's involvement?

In the summer of 2015, Bobbi Kristina Brown's court-appointed conservator filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against Gordon. In various court documents obtained by People, the lawsuit alleged that Gordon and Brown had gotten into a physical altercation that left Brown "battered and bruised, with a tooth knocked out." The lawsuit claims that the night of Brown's drowning, Gordon "placed [Brown] in a bathtub, unconscious, after he injected her with a toxic mixture."

By Gordon's own admission, both he and Brown had been scarred by Houston's drowning. "Neither of us, after that happened, neither of us would take a bath without both [of us]..." Gordon told Dr. Phil (via Extra) in a 2016 interview. "We were traumatized with the tub thing." While it's important to note that Gordon denies any wrongdoing, and was never charged with a crime in connection to Brown's death, this statement seems to conflict with his claim that Brown got into the tub on her own the night before she was found unresponsive. 

Gordon was also accused of "[perpetrating] the fraud that he had married Bobbi Kristina" in order to "control" and "limit" her time with her family and thus "benefit from her wealth," according to the documents obtained by People. In November 2016, a judge awarded Brown's estate $36 million in a default judgment in the wrongful death suit against Gordon after Gordon repeatedly missed court dates in the suit.

Several people close to Bobbi Kristina Brown died of overdoses

Nick Gordon wasn't the only toxic person in Bobbi Kristina Brown's life during her tragic final days. People reported that one of Brown's close friends, Chelsea Bennett, died from a heroin overdose less than a year before Brown's drowning. Several people were charged in connection to Bennett's death, including Cory Ben-Hanania, Bennett's alleged drug dealer, who later pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the case, while two others also accepted plea deals in connection to the overdose. 

Another person connected to Brown's death was Maxwell Byron Lomas, one of the people who discovered Brown facedown in the tub. According to People, Lomas was charged with "possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of Alprazolam or Xanax and possession of a firearm or knife during commission of or attempt to commit certain felonies" around the time of Brown's drowning. He was previously accused of being a drug dealer for Gordon, which Lomas denied. In any case, Lomas' troubles came to a tragic end in August 2018, when TMZ reported he died of a fentanyl overdose.

Bobbi Kristina Brown allegedly almost drowned the night before Whitney Houston died

Nick Gordon alleged in an April 2016 interview with the Daily Mail that Bobbi Kristina Brown nearly drowned in a bathtub the night before Whitney Houston tragically died that very same way in February 2012. "It was in the Beverly Hills Hilton and the water overflowed out into the hallway," Gordon recalled. "Whitney found her, pulled her out and slept in her bed that night." Law enforcement seemingly confirmed much of Gordon's claim, telling TMZ that Brown had become "drunk and unruly" at the "Beverly Hilton bar," where she later "drew a bath and fell asleep in the tub ... intoxicated."

Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012, inside her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. An autopsy confirmed that Houston, 44, died from "drowning" in the bathtub and "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use," according to CBS News. She also had several other drugs in her system at the time of her death, "including marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril [a muscle relaxer] and Benadryl," though the coroner claimed these didn't contribute to her passing.

Bobby Brown used Bobbi Kristina Brown's death to advocate for women

Even though Nick Gordon was never charged criminally, and lost a wrongful death civil suit over the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, Bobby Brown told Rolling Stone — in graphic terms — that he couldn't rest knowing Gordon wasn't behind bars and suffering greatly therein. Thankfully, though, the elder Brown found an outlet to put his frustrations to good use: He founded the Bobbi Kristina Serenity House, a domestic violence shelter and charity, in honor of his late daughter. He told the magazine of the venture, "Domestic violence is just the worst s**t in the world ... We started the Serenity House because women will go through it and think they are wrong like it's their fault. So we're doing this to build houses like safe havens for women that are being abused to get away from the relationship and get some therapy spiritually and mentally." He added, "I don't want to see another father or mother have to go through what I went through."

While he launched one project, he tried to thwart another effort memorializing his daughter: The New York Post reported that Bobby Brown sued TVOne and the affiliated production companies of a Bobbi Kristina biopic. He cited defamation, claiming they inaccurately depicted his life, and that they took "information" from the family's reality show without permission. Bobby eventually reached an undisclosed settlement with biopic's production team, clearing the way for TVOne to air the program.