In his multipart documentary, Brown discloses that his first time witnessing Houston do drugs was on their wedding day in 1992.
Brown who had caught a case of wedding day jitters, locked himself into a bathroom where he indulged in alcohol — a vice that would follow him for years to come — and cocaine until his then friend Alicia Etheredge managed to convince him to come out.
It was then, in the midst of his newfound confidence, that Brown says he saw Houston snort a line of cocaine. As shocking as the sight was, the “Every Little Step” singer says it made him feel as though he and his soon-to-be wife had even more in common.
“I was new to [using cocaine] and she, I guess, had been doing it for a while,” said Brown. His recollection of the day echoes something Brown has long stated — that he was not responsible for introducing the admired vocalist to drugs.
The following year, Brown and Houston welcomed their only child together, daughter Bobbi Kristina. But, soon afterward, Brown says their recreational drug use grew to the disease of addiction, leaving its mark on their once blissful relationship.
“After a while, we just lost our mind,” he said. “Being an addict is really hard. You don’t know you are an addict until it gets worse and worse and worse.” Eight years into the tumultuous marriage, Brown got the sobriety he found that he and Houston both needed when he was sentenced to 75 days in jail for a failed probation check-in tied to his 1996 DUI case. Upon serving 65 of those days in Broward County, Florida, Brown was released where the “Greatest Love of All” singer and throngs of media awaited his exit.
Brown had been clean of alcohol, marijuana and cocaine for a little over two months. Houston reportedly, on the other hand, was still in the throes of addiction.
“When Whitney picked me up [from jail], of course there was drugs in the car and I didn’t want any. I was grateful that I didn’t. It was out of my system,” he recalled. In that same moment of regaining of his freedom, Brown says prioritizing his drug sobriety was a good thing that ultimately helped undo his marriage.
“That’s when I knew that I had moved into a different realm. I was in a different space at that time. That’s when the problems started with me and her. I wanted her to become sober like I was. It was really hard for both of us to stay together and be together after that.”
After more than a decade together, Houston filed for divorce in 2006. It was finalized a year later. Six years later, just ahead of the Grammys, the ”My Love is Your Love” singer was found unconscious in a bathtub at The Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. She was declared dead soon after. A medical examiner later determined her cause of death to be heart disease and cocaine use.
To this day, Brown believes that he could have helped Houston reach sobriety and salvage their marriage. “Drugs just got the best of us.”