5 Revelations From Bobby Brown's Interview With ABC's Robin Roberts, From New Edition to Family
R&B singer sat down with ABC's Robin Roberts for a special edition of "20/20."
— -- R&B singer Bobby Brown has one of the most storied careers in entertainment history.
And he’s not done yet.
In an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts for a special edition of “20/20,” Brown opened up about his journey from being the frontman of New Edition to launching a Grammy-winning solo career to his past relationships, including his marriage to Whitney Houston. He has new memoir, “Every Little Step,” which will be released on June 13.
Here are a few of the things he discussed in the interview. Watch the full story on Tuesday, June 7, at 10 p.m. ET.
Brown Said the First Time He Saw Houston Do Hard Drugs Was on Their Wedding Day
Brown and Houston were married in a lavish 1992 backyard ceremony at her mansion in New Jersey. She wore a $40,000 French lace gown, and Brown wore a white tuxedo. They exchanged vows in front of 800 guests.
“I was deeply in love with her,” Brown said. “For the rest of my life, I think, I will have that feeling towards her because she was that one person that knew me, that one person that had no judgment.”
Brown broke with tradition and saw the bride before the ceremony. That was when, he said, he saw Houston do hard drugs for the first time. He said she offered him a hit of cocaine but he didn’t indulge at that moment.
“She did drugs, but drugs didn’t do her. She knew how to handle herself,” Brown said. “It only made me, you know, love and want to protect her more at the time.”
Brown said that he was not the one who started Houston’s drug habit and that they never allowed their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, to see them doing hard drugs.
“I always made a point to not let her see me or my wife in that type of situation, in that type of feeling,” Brown said. “It’s hard when, you know, you’re doing it every day.”
Houston died on Feb. 11, 2012, after being found facedown in a water-filled bathtub with drug paraphernalia nearby. The Los Angeles County coroner ruled her death an accidental drowning. Bobbi Kristina Brown was also found in a water-filled bathtub, with a mix of drugs and alcohol in her system, and spent six months in a coma before she died on July 26, 2015.
Houston’s representatives declined to comment for this report.
Brown Says New Edition Was Paid $500 and Given a VCR for Hit ‘Candy Girl’
Bobby Brown grew up in Boston, and in 1982 he and his friends got together to sing for a talent night at the Strand Theater there. They came in second place, but they caught the attention of a local music producer, who helped them record their first album and get a record deal as New Edition. The following year, the group had a breakout hit with “Candy Girl.”
They were paid $500 and given a VCR for “Candy Girl.” Brown said they spent the money to buy mopeds.
They were stars before they were out of junior high school. By 1985, tensions in the group led Brown to launch a solo career.
“I was voted out of the group,” he told Roberts. “I would do the opposite, you know, of what they told New Edition to do. I was my own man at a young age. And I just wanted what I wanted.”
Brown Claims He Had Sex with a Ghost
Brown became the “it” guy of 1989, known for his high-energy dancing and living, indulging in drugs and women. He claims he had slept with Janet Jackson and Madonna, as well as with a ghost.
“I bought this mansion in Georgia ... This was a really, really spooky place,” Brown told Roberts. “But yes, one time, I woke up and, yeah, a ghost — I was being mounted by a ghost. I wasn’t high ... I was not trippin’.”
Brown Says Houston Started Flirting With Him at the 1989 Soul Train Awards
In 1989, Brown met Houston, when she stood behind him at the 1989 Soul Train Awards.
“She was bumping into me at Soul Train,” Brown said. “I was like, ‘You keep bumping into me.’ And I kept doing that. And I did it like two or three times, and she kept bumping me. And I asked her why, and she was like, ‘Because I want to.’ And that attitude, that whole thing right there ... that’s the way it started.”
What Brown Is Like as a Husband and Family Man
Today, Brown leans on his wife and manager, Alicia Etheredge-Brown. The couple married in June 2012, and they have two children together, with a third on the way.
“He has feelings, he has emotions,” said Etheredge-Brown. “I don’t think [people] know that ... He has a good days and bad days, and he struggles like everybody else. He gets on his knees, and he prays, and he asks for support, and he has really strong faith.”
Brown said he continues to battle his admitted problem with alcohol, but he said he no longer does drugs.
“When you’re living with somebody who has fought so many addictions and has come so far and then you see there is still something holding them back ... you just want to help them,” Etheredge-Brown said. “So I’m learning, obviously, with this process, how to be supportive.”
Looking ahead, Brown wants to do more acting and said he’s “probably going to do one more album.” He is currently touring and coming out with a line of barbecue sauces. His new book, “Every Little Step,” will be released on June 13.
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