The couple have separated twice during that time, Houston said, because of the pressure of their careers and the public scrutiny that goes along with them. In one much-publicized incident, there was a news report that Brown slapped her in a Honolulu parking lot in 1997 — but both Houston and Brown, who sat in for portions of the Primetime interview, say he has never hit her. In the parking lot incident, Houston said, Brown chased her around the car but did not strike her.
Brown said he was surrounded by female relatives when growing up. "I would never raise my hands in any kind of way to them," he said.
"I love the beauty of woman, and this is mine," he said, indicating Houston.
Brown has had his own problems with drugs and alcohol. After crashing Houston's Porsche into a Hollywood signpost in 1996 while driving drunk, he repeatedly violated his probation conditions, and spent two months in jail in 2000 after his probation officer said he tested positive for cocaine. (Prosecutors dropped the drug-test charge after he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.)
He was even arrested in Atlanta on the morning of the Primetime interview, Nov. 7, for allegedly speeding, driving without a license and having marijuana in the car.
He told Sawyer he smokes marijuana "maybe every other day" to help regulate a bipolar disorder. He said he has never used other drugs, and denied there was cocaine in his system when he took the drug test in 2000. "I tested for a substance like cocaine, which can be anything. It can be an aspirin. It can be a Valium," he said.
While Houston said her husband "sometimes" becomes jealous of the attention she gets, Brown, denied it, saying he "never" gets jealous.
"I adore her just like the average fan," he said, adding that she and his wife both excel in their fields — she as a singer and he as a performer: "She has her part and I have my part."