Being Bobbi Kristina

01.31.15 7:55 PM ET

Drugs, Delusion, and Darkness: Inside Bobbi Kristina Brown’s Troubled Life

Whitney Houston’s daughter is breathing again after being found unconscious in a bathtub Saturday. A look back at the self-destructive behavior that might have led to the tragedy.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Brown, was found unconscious in a bathtub Saturday morning and taken to an Atlanta-area hospital. According to TMZ, she is revived and breathing again.

That Brown’s breathing has been stabilized at the hospital is a relieving development in a story that was on its way to appearing frighteningly and tragically poetic, in the darkest sense of that word: Brown’s mother, Whitney Houston, died after being discovered unconscious in a bathtub in 2012. 


It’s unclear why Brown was unconscious. Her husband and friend found her and began CPR immediately after finding her, and emergency response workers began life-saving measures when they arrived and transferred her to the North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, Ga. 


What is clear, however, is that Bobbi Kristina, at the young age of 21, has already experienced a lifetime of darkness and personal turmoil—the kind she has clearly struggled to emerge from healthily amid a din of media attention and swell of controversy that has followed her every move in the years since Houston’s death.


Just last July, for example, a shocking photo of Bobbi Kristina doing drugs showed up on Instagram, which she later denied posting. The picture showed a person who looked like Bobbi Kristina lighting up what appeared to be a bong. 

The caption was tragic: “This picture may be inappropriate but I want to make a connection with you all. Don’t worry this picture isn’t recent just hear me out. Do you know what I feel? I feel strange that I can’t feel any pain anymore. I don’t take any drugs as of recently. Things just happened. But then there is some situation that force me to do things and the impact I’ll feel pain. I did and I do. I was hurt.”


It continues: “People kinda expect more from me. But I can’t. I have lost my sense. It just happened. Then here we go again I’m in the same pain. I’m hurt. I’m trying to. I really do. But I know that I’m hurt and in pain but I can feel it but I don’t know what it is. What do I really do? God, Help me ignore and rebuke what these demons are saying, in Jesus Name. Amen.” 


Shocking and sad reports about Bobbi Kristina’s drug use have bubbled all too often over the past three years, with various levels of legitimacy.

There were reports that Bobbi Kristina and Whitney Houston shared a drug dealer. The Daily Beast reported in 2012 that Bobbi Kristina was found getting high after her mother’s funeral. 


The Daily Mail’s reports are far more salacious than that, with reports of her doing cocaine on her 18th birthday, in addition to after her mother’s funeral. The same story includes claims from Houston’s former chauffeur saying that he used to watch Houston and Bobby Brown do crack cocaine in front of Bobbi Kristina. According to the article, Houston used to also bribe Bobbi Kristina in order to keep her close, including allowing her to drink underage. 


And when Bobbi Kristina starred alongside other members of her family in the ill-received, rather exploitative reality series “Houstons: On Our Own,” which capitalized on the public’s interest in the family following Whitney’s death, the then-19-year-old was seen frequently drinking on camera and tottering around as if more than alcohol was inebriating her. 


The reality show itself illuminates another concerning element of Bobbi Kristina’s life recently. A child star by default, by virtue of who her parents were when she was growing up and by being thrust onto tabloid covers when her mother died, Bobbi Kristina has seemed to desperately cling to the semblance of fame and spotlight that has been afforded her. “Houstons: On Our Own” is just one example. With goals of becoming a singer herself, Bobbi Kristina was rumored to have been working with Houston on several tracks together when she died. 


When it was announced that Lifetime would producing a biopic of Houston, which finally aired earlier this month, Bobbi Kristina reportedly lobbied to play her mother and was outraged at director Angela Bassett when she wouldn’t cast her. 


Her personal life hasn’t been simple, either. She famously married her adoptive brother, Nick Gordon, in 2013, for which the star was accused of incest. Bobbi was six and Nick was nine when her family took him in. At one point last year, the couple was evicted from their Georgia apartment after neighbors filed dozens of noise complaints, which included “partying until 5 am on a weekday.” When they were finally evicted, they left a note on a neighbor’s door that began, “You are shit at the bottom of our shoe.”

And in March, Bobbi Kristina ignited a flurry of concern after she shared a photo of herself in a bikini on vacation looking startlingly emaciated, indicating a severe weight loss from her once curvier frame. Her response to the controversy: “I am my mother’s child! Have you ever heard of a #fastmetabolism?”


Get The Beast In Your Inbox!
By clicking "Subscribe," you agree to have read the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
Thank You!
You are now subscribed to the Daily Digest and Cheat Sheet. We will not share your email with anyone for any reason

This isn’t the first time Brown has been hospitalized since Houston’s death. She was rushed to the hospital the day after her mother died after suffering an anxiety attack. 


In 2012, following the tragic death of her mother, The Daily Beast’s Allison Samuels reported on fears over how Houston’s death would affect Bobbi Kristina, who had been so close to Houston. The Houston family was petrified that Bobbi Kristina would follow in her mother’s self-destructive footsteps. Rereading it now, hours after Bobbi Kristina was also found unconscious in a bathtub, it seems hauntingly prescient. 


One of her most recent posts on Twitter, sent Jan. 29 was a retweet of a horoscope. It read: “#Pisces have a hard time accepting reality. Once they do realize it, it hits them like a ton of bricks.”