Bobby Brown Unpacks 'Generational' Cycle Behind Whitney Houston & His Kids' Deaths on 'Red Table Talk'

Bobby Brown
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“Red Table Talk” with Bobby Brown.

Bobby Brown unpacked the "generational" cycle that plagued the late members of his family on the latest Red Table Talk episode Wednesday (April 14).

His son, Bobby Brown Jr., died on Nov. 18, 2020, at age 28, and the recent autopsy report revealed the cause of death to be "combined effects of alcohol, cocaine and fentanyl." Five years earlier, his daughter and Brown Jr.'s half-sister, Bobbi Kristina, died at age 22 on July 26, 2015, after she was found unconscious in a bathtub, and ended up in a coma for six months. The autopsy revealed her cause of death to be lobar pneumonia due to "immersion of face in water complicating mixed drug intoxication." She died in a similar manner to her mother and Grammy-winning icon Whitney Houston, who died at age 48 on Feb. 11, 2012, after she was also found submerged in a bathtub. That autopsy revealed the cause of death to be accidental drowning, heart disease and the effects of cocaine use.

"Losing him was very, very unexpected, just like losing my daughter," Brown said of his son. "We were just in the studio two nights before. It was something that hit me really, really hard." But while sitting down with Jada Pinkett Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris and Willow at the red table, the Grammy-winning artist confessed he didn't know his son struggled with drugs, but was aware he experimented with them in a way that he didn't classify as being dependent on them. "He was a young man that tried the wrong stuff, and it took him out of here," the 52-year-old singer said.

Although Bobby Brown Jr.'s parents have called for criminal charges in his overdose death, the New Edition member feels "guilty" that his past drug addiction "played a part in my son feeling he could test something." But he also places the blame of both Bobbi Kristina and his ex-wife Houston's deaths on Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina's ex-boyfriend who died at age 30 on Jan. 1, 2020, from a heroin overdose.

"This is my opinion of who I think this young man was. Being around my daughter and being around my ex-wife, I think [Gordon] was more so a provider of, you know, party favors," Brown said, adding he never had a chance to confront Gordon about his suspicions because "I was in rehab at the time when he passed. I had planned on, once I left rehab, to approach the young man just to find out how my daughter was in her last days."

Brown says he's been clean from narcotics for the past 19 years and been sober from alcohol for a year. "I caught myself in time. I look at it as I can't get no worse than I was because I know my bottom," he said, noting he hit "rock bottom" in 2004 when he was sentenced to 60 days in jail for violating his probation related to a DUI, and was forced to go "cold turkey" from hard drugs. "And then when I got out, I was like, 'Da--!' I was glad, I was thankful that they put me in jail. I was seeing everything for the first time again. Everything looked beautiful."

By reflecting on his parenting journey with Brown Jr. and Bobbi Kristina, the hitmaker, who has fathered seven children, says he's leading by example and changing his lifestyle, which stems from his own difficult upbringing. "In my household, I saw drug use, I saw robbery, death and killings and things like that. ... That's all that I saw," he recalled. "But realizing it was generational disease that my father had. My father was an alcoholic, my mom was an alcoholic. It was just passed down. And I realized that with my younger children that if I don't break this cycle, who is?"

Watch the full "An Urgent Warning from Bobby Brown" episode here.

Bobby Brown's Son Dies at 28 | Billboard News