Bobby Brown narrates how he lost wife, son, daughter to drugs, his flings with Madonna, Janet Jackson
Bobby Brown discusses his childhood agony, a fling with Madonna, his doomed affair with Janet Jackson and his “intense” marriage and sex life with Whitney Houston is a new interview
Bobby Brown is notorious for his turbulent drug-addled relationship with late wife Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown found fame in the 1980s as an R&B and hip-hop pioneer, then gained a shameful notoriety in the 1990s amid allegations of wife-beating and drug abuse during his marriage to Whitney Houston.
Now, at the age of 53, he has blamed his troubles as an adult on traumas suffered as a child – seeing his mum beaten by police, his best friend murdered, and being abused by a priest – and told of his romances with Madonna and Janet Jackson.
In the interview for a documentary, Brown claims he was a “sex addict”, boasting about his fling with Madonna, and describing Janet Jackson as “the crush of my life”.
In a preview of Biography: Bobby Brown, to be shown on US channel A&E later this month, he says: “Did I sleep with Madonna? We didn’t do any sleeping. That just happened.
“I don’t even know how it happened. I don’t believe she knows how it happened. She probably knows how it happened, but we didn’t do no sleeping.”
Asked about Janet Jackson, who he previously revealed he had dated after finding fame in the 1980s with boyband New Edition, he says: “I had a big crush on Janet.
“What was it about Janet? Everything. Her little smile, body, her dance moves, her little laugh.
“We loved each other’s company. We didn’t have that long of a relationship.
“But the reason me and Janet broke off was because she couldn’t be with a man like myself. I’m from the projects. I’m hood.
“And her father wouldn’t allow her to be with someone like me. Janet was the crush of my life.”
He blames growing up in the “hood” for the trouble he caused as an adult.
He was one of eight children born to a construction worker dad and substitute teacher mum, who lived in the rough Orchard Park Projects in Boston.
In the documentary, he recalls seeing his mother beaten with a police baton as she was arrested outside their home for attempting to break up a fight.
He says: “When my mother was arrested, I was sent to temporary custody by social services which was supposed to be a religious place. It was not a nice place to be as a child. One of the priests tried to molest me.
“He touched my privates and I didn’t like that. I punched and kicked and punched some more until he got away from me.
“I ran away from there as quickly as possible. At that time, I was a young boy I didn’t know what sexual boundaries were. I just knew I didn’t like being touched. Some things are hard to forget.
“Those incidents affected my life going forward especially in a rebellious way. I had this thing with authority. I rebelled.
“I grew up fast. It wasn’t easy. I saw too much in my neighbourhood.”
At the age of 12, he saw his “best friend in the world” Jimmy Flint murdered in front of him in a fight.
He says: “Somebody threw the guy a butcher’s knife and he ended up stabbing Jimmy in the heart. He passed away looking at me. I’ll never forget his face when he took his last breath.
“Once I lost Jimmy, I didn’t want to be a part of the projects any more or live there. I wanted out so bad. And music was the only way.”
In the late 1970s, he formed New Edition, who had a huge hit with the song Candy Girl. He went solo in 1985, and his album Don’t Be Cruel sold 12 million copies, bringing him stardom and riches beyond his dreams.
He says: “Ah, the money was ginormous. I’d be driving down the street, see somebody in a car and like the car, and pull the car over and buy the car, and ride it throughout that city, that day and just leave the car at the airport or hotel.
“Pay 50 something thousand dollars for a car and just leave it. I spent a million dollars in one day. I bought three watches, I bought a house, and I bought a car.
He met “the love of my life” Whitney in 1989, marrying her three years later. He says: “It was just, like, love at first sight. There was something about her eyes that made me melt.”
He describes their sex life as “pretty intense” and tells of their addiction to drugs, saying: “I had a 57 magnum on me, cocaine in this pocket, crack in this, weed in this and I thought Whitney was trying to kill me. When you have money and you’re famous, drugs are part of the business.
“Alcohol is part of the business.”
Whitney and Brown divorced in 2007, and she died, aged 48, in 2012 in a drug-related drowning in a hotel bath.
Their daughter Bobbi Kristina died, aged 22, three years later, the cause of death found to be a combination of drowning and drug intoxication.
Brown also lost his son by a woman called Kim Ward, Bobby Brown Jr, to a drugs overdose in 2020, and says: “Lately I have been dreaming about my late son and late daughter.
“They have been coming to me in my dreams.”
But he wed his manager Alicia Etheredge in 2012, and says: “I finally found happiness, something I thought drugs would do. Alicia has given me that.”
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