The short but turbulent life of Bobbi Kristina Brown came to an end Sunday. The Houston family announced Bobbi Kristina passed away at the age of 22. Her family said she had irreversible brain damage after she was found unresponsive in her bathtub nearly six months ago.
“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away Sunday, July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family,” said a Houston family statement. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”
Bobbi Kristina, the daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, was showbiz royalty. Although she was born into privilege, she didn’t have the easiest life. She watched both of her parents battle substance abuse problems and witnessed their volatile marriage crumble (Houston later accused Bobby Brown of being physically abusive). Some of this was captured in the widely-panned 2005 reality show, Being Bobby Brown. Bobbi Kristina later appeared on the Lifetime special, The Houstons: On Our Own, often appearing to be under the influence and drinking on camera.
“There was speculation that Brown may have suffered from some of the same problems as her parents after she appeared to be intoxicated during some scenes of the reality show,” reported CNN.
Since Bobbi Kristina’s parents were struggling with their own problems, she was often left unsupervised and her grandmother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, eventually stepped into be her guardian.
She lost her mother in 2012 after Houston drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel. She was believed to be using drugs when she slipped under the water and never regained consciousness.
Bobbi Kristina told Oprah that although she missed her mother, she still felt her spirit.
“I can hear her voice telling me to ‘keep moving, baby; I gotcha,’ ” she said. “She’s always with me. I can always feel her with me.”
After Houston died, Bobbi Kristina inherited her $20 million estate. She received the first part, $2 million, when she turned 21, and was supposed to receive the remainder after she turned 30, according to The International Business Times.
Bobbi Kristina clashed with her family over her choice in partners. She became romantically involved with Nick Gordon, who was welcomed into her home when he was 12. NBC News said that although Gordon called Houston “mom” and had a tattoo of her on his face, he was never legally adopted. Gordon and Brown called each other “husband” and “wife” and posted pictures wearing wedding rings, but the Houston family claim they were never legally married.
Many people were uncomfortable with the idea of two young people raised in the same household becoming romantically involved, and Bobbi Kristina often went online to defend herself.
“People need to seriously stop judging my relationship,” she wrote. “Pretty sure it’s my own decision who I want to be with.”
Many of Bobbi Kritina’s battles with the Houston family over Gordon were captured in the reality show, The Houstons: On Our Own.
The Houston family blamed Gordon for her condition, claiming he was physically abusive and encouraged her drug habit. Local police were called to her house to investigate a fight and later questioned Gordon after they found bruising on Brown’s chest. Gordon claimed it was from his attempts at CPR. A police report also found Bobbi Kristina’s face had bruising and she was missing a tooth.
After an emotional appearance on The Dr. Phil Show, Gordon was persuaded to enter a drug rehab facility. The Houston family later filed a $10 million civil suit against Gordon accusing him of causing Bobbi Kristina “substantial bodily harm” and stealing from her bank account.
Before her death, Bobbi Kristina had been attempting to follow in her parents’ footsteps by carving out an entertainment career. Apart from appearing on several reality shows, she also unsuccessfully lobbied to play her mother in a Lifetime biopic and was featured in Tyler Perry’s For Better or Worse.