R&B legend Bobby Brown‘s latest A&E documentary, “Biography: Bobby Brown,” is unearthing a lot of past trauma for the singer/dancer and highlights his own view on those ordeals that blighted his career in the music industry.
The New Edition alum was formerly married to music icon Whitney Houston, and their union was marred by reports of adultery, drug problems, and domestic strife, making them tabloid material throughout their marriage.
The pair would eventually divorce in 2007, five years before Houston’s death in her Beverly Hills hotel room in 2012. Now years after the tragic event, Brown has opened up about what led to his drug addiction, his recovery process, and how Houston might still be alive if they had not parted ways at the time.
Bobby Brown Was Molested By A Priest
Brown spoke with People Magazine on his media tour for his new two-part A&E docuseries about a terrible molestation experience that happened in his early years after being briefly placed in the custody of a religious home by social services.
“One of the priests tried to molest me,” Brown recalled. “He tried to touch my private parts. At that time, I was a young boy. I didn’t know what sexual boundaries were. I just knew I didn’t like being touched.”
Brown was taken to the home after his mother’s arrest by the police for attempting to obstruct the arrest of their neighbors. At his young age, Brown did not expect to be the victim of such a lewd encounter at the religious house and responded by fighting off the priest and escaping the establishment.
Years later, Brown’s memory of the incident would have a vital influence in shaping his reckless course in life, first as a member of the New Edition band and then as a solo singer.
“Some things are hard to forget,” he said. “That really, really bothered me as a child, and as a grown adult, I think it was part of the reason I did things, other things, drugs, alcohol, why I abused myself.”
His Path To Recovery
Brown has been clean for 20 years, having started his recovery path a few years before his 14-year marriage to Houston ended in 2007. The musician was in jail at the outset of his recovery for one of his many crimes and understood he needed to do better for himself and his children.
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“It was really rough because I was so addicted. I had to be put into medical detox first,” he told the news publication. “And then the Bible got me through. It was about becoming healthier for my daughter [Bobbi Kristina] and for the rest of my kids.”
While Brown was able to quit drugs, his then ex-wife and mother of Bobbi Kristina, Houston, was unable to do the same for herself. The singing legend was far too deep into it all and was known to have dabbled into several drugs, including cocaine until her demise in 2012 at the age of 48
Bobby Brown On Whitney Houston’s Death
Upon hearing the news of Houston’s death, Brown’s reaction was one of immense shock, as he had assumed that she had seen the need to change and get clean.
“I thought she was getting herself together,” he said, “I didn’t think she would turn back.”
Following the death of his ex-wife, Brown had an emotional scene at a New Edition show, shouting “I love you, Whitney” in tears and could not continue with his performance. He would later attend Houston’s memorial service in New Jersey but was asked to leave by her family’s security at the time.
Over the years, Brown has borne the weight of his own thoughts tearing at him for not trying harder to sustain their marriage. To him, if only he had tried harder, Houston might still be walking the earth today.
“I think we could have helped each other out,” he stated in a teaser from the documentary. “I think she’d still be here if we hadn’t divorced.”
Fighting Alcohol Addiction – Bobby’s Unending Battle
Although Brown has avoided narcotics for decades, his alcohol addiction has proven more challenging to break. He last entered a treatment center for alcohol abuse in 2020, one of many times he has done so over the years.
The singer has realized that he may never be entirely free of this addiction but revealed his readiness to take on the task of self-control every day for the rest of his life.
“I work hard at staying sober every day of my life, and it’s going to be that way for the rest of my life, and I know that,” he said in the concluding part of his interview.
“Biography: Bobby Brown” part one will air on A&E on Monday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by part two on Tuesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET.