Houston, he has a problem.
In court documents filed last month and made public this week, Bobby Brown is seeking to overturn a decision granting ex-wife Whitney Houston sole custody of their teenage daughter, not only disputing Houston's claims he was an "unreliable" parent but painting himself as a father so devoted to her well-being he ended up living in his car in order to provide for her. [View the court docs here, here and here.]
"Since Whitney has been awarded sole legal and physical custody of Bobbi Kris, she has attempted to eliminate me from Bobbi Kris' life," the former New Edition singer said of his 14-year-old girl in the legal papers. "I did all I could to see my daughter."
He also claims he did all he could to ensure her safety and comfort, saying he footed the bill for his girls to maintain the life to which they were accustomed in 2005, when Houston checked in to rehab for the second time that year. Brown argued that during that time, he became the child's sole caretaker.
"I also paid approximately $10,000 for Whitney and Bobbi Kris to live in a nice hotel while Whitney was going through rehab...I basically lived out of my car."
In October of last year, the 44-year-old Houston filed for divorce from her 38-year-old partner of 14 years. After Brown failed to respond to the papers, Houston requested for a judge to fast-track the legal split, and the duo's divorce was made final in April of this year. Around the same time, Orange County judge Franz E. Miller also awarded Houston sole physical and legal custody of their child, after teary testimony that Brown was an "unreliable" father.
Houston did not request spousal or child support from Brown. He, however, did not pay her the same courtesy.
In May, just a month after the divorce was finalized, Brown filed suit against Houston both for spousal support and to change the terms of the custody arrangement, claiming financial and emotional problems prevented him from properly responding to her divorce petition.
"I was, for all intents and purposes, homeless," he said in court papers at the time. The current release of paperwork is Brown's follow-up on the case.
"I have not seen or spoken to my daughter since early June," he said in the most recent court documents, "and I have no prospect of speaking to her or seeing her anytime soon due to Whitney's actions."
For her part, Houston has responded to Brown's pitiable allegations, saying his portrait of himself as the victim in the relationship is not accurate.
Of his claim that he was a present parent to Bobbi Kristina, Houston alleges instead that he was "almost totally uninvolved in taking care of her."
In response to his request for spousal support, Houston said such financial aid would be unnecessary if he could get his act together, like she did.
"Bobby is fully capable of working and earning substantial sums of money if he would control his personal behavior...Frankly, I needed to be divorced from him so that I could get my life back on track."
Still, despite his apparent flaws as a spouse and father, Houston said she still wants him connected to their daughter and that, despite his recent outcry to the contrary, he has remained in her own life.
"We have a daughter together, and I would like him to be involved in her life," she said.
"From the time I moved to California in April 2006 until now, Bobby and I have remained friendly toward each other."
Outside the courthouse, anyway.
The two were spotted dining together just this month, after the latest court docs were filed, at Joe's Crab Shack in Alpharetta, Georgia, near their old Atlanta stomping grounds. However, the meeting wasn't a sign of things to come: Houston's rep issued a statement after photos of the couple made the Internet rounds, denying a reconciliation was in the works.