Whitney Houston Remembered by Bobby Brown in Candid Lifetime TV Interview: Singer Talks Drugs, Infidelity, Love and Redemption

The singer talked about his late ex-wife with Shawn Robinson in a sit-down that aired after the biopic Whitney on Jan. 17

By Corinne Heller Jan 18, 2015 5:12 PMTags

Bobby Brown talked about his favorite memories of late ex-wife Whitney Houston and details their personal struggles, with their turbulent marriage and with drug addiction, in a new interview that aired on Saturday on Lifetime Television after a biopic about the iconic singer.

Bobby, 45, was married to the 48-year-old pop star for 15 years and shares with her a 21-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.

Their relationship and personal turmoil was depicted in the TV film, Whitney, which was made without the blessing of the family of the "I Will Always Love You" singer and The Bodyguard actress, who died in 2012. Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson carried out the interview with Bobby for Lifetime's Bobby Brown: Remembering Whitney special. Whitney's family has not responded to his remarks.

Check out seven topics he talked about.

1. Whitney and Bobby: From the first date...

Bobby said he and Whitney went to go see the 1989 John Candy comedy Uncle Buck.

"We both enjoyed it and laughed and had a good time," he said.

Universal Pictures

2. ... to the wedding...

Bobby proposed to Whitney in the back of a car.

"She came to pick me up at the airport," Bobby told Robinson. "I asked her, 'Do you wanna marry me?' And she went crazy—''Yes, yes, yes!' She told the car to pull over."

The two wed at Whitney's New Jersey home in 1992 in front of family, friends and many prominent music industry figures, he said. Whitney was "definitely" a Bridezilla, he added.

"She wanted everything to be perfect."

"That was a beautiful day," she said. "She just looked beautiful...I just started crying. I didn't know what to do. I cried. I wept." 

Associated Press

3. On infidelity...

In the Whitney biopic, the singer is shown walking in on Bobby in bed with another woman. The pop star herself is also seen getting frisky with another man at a club.

"There was infidelity in the marriage, yes, on both parts," he said. "Both of us cheated on each other."

"We make mistakes," he added. "We're human."

4. On THAT 911 call..

In 2003, police were called to the home of Whitney and Bobby to investigate a domestic violence report. He was accused of hitting the singer, who was seen sporting a bruised cheek and a cut on her lip after the incident.

"Oh, we were playing with each other, going crazy just being us crazy people we are," he told Robinson. "I hit her a little bit, just tapped her. My niece called the police. She took it upon herself to call the police but it was nothing absolutely nothing. I didn't hit her hard. Not at all."

After the confrontation, Bobby apologized. Whitney stood by him in court and sang Aretha Franklin's "(You make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman" on her way out. Bobby spent time in jail over the incident and probation violations.

John Amis-Pool/Getty Images

5. Bobby gets served at a restaurant...but not just with food...

Whitney filed for divorce in 2006. Bobby told Robinson he was at a Chinese restaurant and got a phone call from someone who told him, "We have this check from such and such." He said he told the person to deliver it to him at the eatery. Instead of a check, he got served with divorce papers.

"I was hurt," he said. "I was basically mortified. I was like, 'Wow, I did not see it coming."

"She got everything [in the divorce]," he added. "Property, jewelry, cars...I left with my sobriety."

Four months after Whitney's death, Bobby married Alicia Etheridge. The two share a 5-year-old son. Bobby also has three other children from previous relationships. He told Robinson that Alicia is pregnant with their second child.

"I am really trying to be the best man that I can be for my wife and my kids," he said. "God is amazing. Everybody gets a second chance, they say. I've had three or four of them."

6. On their drug addictions...

Both struggled with substance abuse throughout their lives. Whitney died at age 48 in a Beverly Hills hotel room in 2012, a day before the Grammys, from accidental drowning in a bathtub. Cocaine use was one of the factors that contributed to her death.

Bobby said the first time he saw Whitney doing the drug was during their honeymoon.

"It wasn't like all day...it wasn't that," he added. "When she did, it wasn't in excess. That didn't come till later on in our marriage."

"We would be doing cocaine in the house, in our room," he said, adding that they always made sure their daughter did not see them doing drugs.

Bobby said that he himself used to be addicted to cocaine as well as alcohol and marijuana and had also tried heroin. He also denied rumors that said Whitney was the one who introduced him to coke.

In a now-famous 2002 ABC News interview with Diane Sawyer, Houston talked about her past drug use and denied using crack cocaine, saying: "Crack is cheap. I make too much for me to ever smoke crack. Let's get that straight, Okay? I don't do crack. I don't do that. Crack is whack."

"I thought she was joking," Bobby told Robinson. "I laughed my tail off. I laughed so hard. She said crack is cheap."

Both Whitney and Bobby underwent rehab stints.

"I know what drugs do to the body," he said. "I stayed sober to help her."

He said he has been sober for 13 years.

7. Was he jealous of her success?

It was implied as such in the Whitney biopic that Bobby, singer of New Edition, was frustrated that his wife had become more famous. A groupie even calls him "Mr. Houston" to his face after he rejects her.

When asked if he ever felt like "Mr. Houston," Bobby told Robinson, "Oh no. Come on."


8. On his relationship with Whitney's family and why he left her funeral early...

In Whitney, the singer's mother, Cissy Houston, is seen trying to talk her daughter out of marrying Bobby and also trying to convince her to leave him after they wed and after she catches him cheating.

In her 2013 book Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped, Cissy writes that she thinks "it would have been easier for [Whitney[ her to get sober and stay sober" without Bobby, adding, "Instead she was with someone who, like her, wanted to party. To me, he never seemed to be a help to her in the way she needed."

In a 2013 interview with the Today show, Cissy said she didn't "blame" Bobby over Whitney's death, adding, "I know he didn't help her…everybody's responsible for their own actions up to a point."

"I'm sorry for how she feels about me," Bobby told Robinson, saying that he wanted Cissy to know, "I am not a bad person. I loved your daughter tremendously."

"She was my heart," he added. "If there was anything more I could have done, trust me, I would've done it."

Bobby had attended Whitney's funeral but left before the service began. He told Robinson that he did so because security guards did not allow his children from his previous relationships to sit with him in the second row, along with Bobbi Kristina. Whitney's family has not commented.

 "It was disrespectful," he said. "It was no fault of the family, it was security. So I just kissed the casket and me and my kids, we left."

9. On what he'll remember most about Whitney...

"She has a long list of things she should be remembered for but for the most part, that voice," he said. "That voice and that heart."

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