Bobbi Kristina Brown's Boyfriend Nick Gordon Dies After Possible Drug Overdose

Nick Gordon, the controversial ex-boyfriend of the late Bobbi Kristina Brown, has died at age 30. According to People, Gordon died Jan. 1, 2020 "following a drug overdose." His brother, Jack Walker, Jr., reportedly told People that "the drug in question was heroin." The Daily Mail reported that Gordon allegedly "had a series of heart attacks after he was rushed into intensive care in Florida amid New Year's celebrations."

Walker also posted a tribute on Facebook: "I love you so much big brother I hope you heard me talking to you at your bedside ... sh*t wasn't suppose to go like this." He added, "I never in a million years thought I'd be writing this for my ACE I was there through every step we all love you no matter what and we'll all stay strong for you.

Gordon's death adds to the list of untimely passings surrounding the Houston-Brown family. Brown's mother, the legendary singer Whitney Houston, died at age 48 in 2012. Her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, died at age 22 in 2015. While Gordon denied involvement in his girlfriend's death and was never charged, he was found legally responsible in a civil suit, per the Associated Press. That controversy, and more, has resurfaced in the wake of Gordon's untimely passing.

Nick Gordon was reportedly working hard to stay sober

Nick Gordon's lawyer, Joe S. Habachy, said his client was focused on sobriety. "Despite all of the incredible challenges Nick faced over the last few years I can honestly say that he worked hard to hold his head up and stay sober and that he genuinely wanted a happy healthy life with his family more than anything else," Habachy said, via People. "My heart goes out to the family and friends Nick leaves behind and to any other families dealing with the losses and heartache caused by drugs."

Gordon's struggles with sobriety have made headlines in the past. During an erratic March 2015 appearance on Dr. Phil, Gordon admitted he was intoxicated on the show and checked into rehab soon after, per the Los Angeles Times. "I have been drinking. I have been doing Xanax," he reportedly told Dr. Phil, adding, "My pain is horrible. Like, my heart hurts. I have panic attacks." 

A year later, Gordon returned to the Dr. Phil show and reflected on his past experience with substance abuse. "I was drinking so much at the time because I could not deal with what was happening to Krissy," he said (via Billboard.) "It mentally broke me. That's the lowest point in my life right there."

Bobbi Kristina Brown's death remains controversial

The circumstances surrounding Bobbi Kristina Brown's death remain murky. On Jan. 31, 2015, Brown was found unresponsive in a bathtub in the home she shared with Gordon. She died six months later in hospice care. The autopsy reports concluded she died from "immersion associated with drug intoxication," per the Los Angeles Times. However, it was unclear if her death was accidental or possibly intentional. As CNN reported in the wake of Nick Gordon's death, he was "viewed by many as a man who did more harm than good" while involved in Brown's life.

At age 12, Nick Gordon was taken in and raised by the Houston-Brown family. He reportedly started dating Brown after Houston's death in 2012. "We did everything together. We were inseparable," he told the Daily Mail in 2016. Gordon also said he and Brown almost got married. "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."

But some members of Brown's family supposedly did not support that romantic relationship. "Nick knew that a lot of the family weren't fans of his," a source told People. "...Everyone had a preconceived notion about him, and it wasn't always fair." According to the Los Angeles Times, Gordon was not even allowed to attend Brown's funeral services, and her estate even blamed him for her death...

Bobbi Kristina Brown's estate blamed Nick Gordon for her death

According to People, Bobbi Kristina Brown's court-appointed conservator filed a civil wrongful death suit against Nick Gordon, claiming, "Ms. Brown died due to a violent altercation with Defendant (Gordon) after which he placed her in a bathtub, unconscious, after he injected her with a toxic mixture." 

Gordon's lawyers said those allegations were "meritless and slanderous." In April 2016, Gordon denied any wrongdoing and told the Daily Mail, "I blame myself for not getting to Krissy quick enough that day. I can't blame myself for another addict's addiction but I feel like I failed her. She didn't make it. I wish she got help."

Gordon was not criminally charged in connection with Brown's death, but in September 2016, a judge ruled against Gordon in the aforementioned civil suit. He was ordered to pay $36 million to Brown's estate, but as CNN notes, "Gordon failed to appear for two hearings in the civil case in Brown's death, and her family won by default."

Brown's passing was all the more devastating because of the similarities between her death and her mother's death. Whitney Houston was also found in a bathtub, and an autopsy revealed her cause of death as "drowning" and "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use," per CBS News.

Nick Gordon claimed he and Bobbi Kristina Brown were 'inseparable'

Despite the controversy surrounding his involvement in Bobbi Kristina Brown's life and death, Nick Gordon expressed deep love and affection for her family. In an interview with the Daily Mail (via the NZ Herald), he said Whitney Houston "was like a mom to me. Momma Dukes. Losing her was terrible."

Gordon talked about how much he cared for Houston and Brown during a 2016 interview with Dr. Phil."Regardless of what everybody thinks, I made Krissy and Whitney's last few years on earth as happy as they would be," he said (via Billboard.) "I gave them somebody to trust, to talk to, to be there, someone genuine." 

The world may never know exactly what transpired between Gordon and Brown, but as his lawyer, Joe S. Habachy said in a statement, it's "truly heartbreaking to have witnessed first hand the total devastation that drug addiction has wreaked upon a group of young friends, all of whom were loved and had immense potential."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with substance abuse, you can contact SAMHSA's free, confidential helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).