Bobby Brown holds nothing back in his first television interview since the death of 22-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown last July. In a sneak peek from ABC's 20/20, Bobby bursts into tears as he opens up to Robin Roberts. "The hardest thing I had to do in my life was tell my daughter to let go. My baby's gone." Regaining his composure, the singer, 47, adds, "I thank God I'm still here."
The New Edition musician also notes the similarities between the deaths of his daughter and his ex-wife, Whitney Houston. Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her home in Georgia in January 2015; she died in hospice care six months later. In March 2016, the coroner determined her cause of death was water immersion and mixed drugs. Whitney, meanwhile, was found unconscious in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in February 2012; the 48-year-old diva's death was ruled an accidental drowning, and she had traces of cocaine in her system. "The same thing that happened to my daughter, it happened to Whitney" Bobby said. His comments echo those made by Bobbi Kristina's boyfriend and Whitney's unofficial "son" Nick Gordon, who recalled to Dr. Phil in April, "It was literally a nightmare all over again."
Bobby divulges even more details about Whitney's troubles, including the first time he saw her do cocaine. (During a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey in September 2009, Whitney confirmed she'd done drugs with her ex-husband, alleging that Bobby "laced marijuana with rock cocaine.") Reflecting on their bitter breakup after 15 years of marriage, Bobby—who is since remarried—says, "I came into the marriage with money [and] left the marriage with nothing."
Bobbi Kristina was laid to rest last summer, but her family won't rest until they know what happened. After her death, the Brown family publicly questioned whether Nick was involved. Her estate's conservator eventually filed a $10 million civil lawsuit against him, claiming Nick had abused her during their relationship; it also contains a wrongful death accusation. Nick, for his part, has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with a crime. His lawyer has said the lawsuit "is slanderous and meritless," adding that it also constitutes a "fictitious assault against the person who loved Krissy most." In May, E! News confirmed that Bobby has joined the estate's lawsuit against Nick.
Bobby's 20/20 interview airs Tuesday at 10 p.m. on ABC.