The Truth About Bobbi Kristina And Nick Gordon's Relationship

The following article includes allegations of drug abuse and domestic violence.

Lifetime's 2021 documentary about the eerily parallel and tragic lives of Whitney Houston and her daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn't We Almost Have It All, has resurfaced fans' questions about Bobbi Kristina's death — and about her relationship with Nick Gordon.

Six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub, Brown died in the hospital in 2016 when she was just 22 years old. Eight months later, the medical examiner finally released the official cause of the young woman's death, which was found to be "immersion associated with drug intoxication," according to BBC. The medical examiner's statement also included that her death was "clearly" not of natural causes, but they could not yet be sure of whether it was accidental or intentional. 

Ultimately, Brown's boyfriend Gordon was found legally responsible in a civil suit, but no criminal charges were ever filed against him. He was ordered to pay her estate $35 million, according to CNN. So what really happened here?

Bobbi Kristina and Nick Gordon had a complicated past

Whitney Houston took in Nick Gordon when he was 12 years old, and raised him alongside her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. After Houston died in 2012, Bobbi Kristina and Gordon started a romantic relationship, CNN reported.

The couple's relationship caused a huge stir both within the family and in the tabloids. Gordon was raised as a son to Houston, and he and Brown had referred to one another as "brother" and "sister." Brown's grandmother, Cissy Houston, called the relationship "incestuous," according to TMZ, and reportedly viewed Gordon as a bad influence on her granddaughter even before learning of the relationship.

Though rumors swirled that the pair had secretly gotten married, they never did. However, the relationship was clearly contentious. Family gatherings sometimes erupted into violent fights and even a restraining order taken out against him by Houston's sister-in-law Pat Houston, TMZ reported.

Though no criminal charges were ever brought against him, Brown's estate filed a wrongful death suit after she was found to have died of "immersion in water and drug intoxication." The suit claimed that Gordon physically beat Bobbi after a drug and alcohol binge, and further alleged that he gave her a "toxic cocktail" causing her to pass out, according to CNN.

The court ruled against Gordon "by default" after he failed to appear two times in a row. Gordon died of a supposed drug overdose in January 2020 at age 30, Rolling Stone reported.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA's 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224. You can also find more information, resources, and support at