Media vultures swarm around the life of Bobbi Kristina Brown as she rebelliously attempts to navigate the rocky reputations of both of her parents. The scent of self-destruction clings to her like a hand-me-down coat; they recognize it on her. Equal parts “My Prerogative” and “I Want To Dance With Somebody,” the 19-year-old daughter of Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston has grown to embody the complex nature of her parents highly publicized relationship. Naive, yet nurturing. Unstable, yet predictable. Innocent, irresponsible, intense. Her birthright lives within her as potentially poisonous as an incompatible blood type. Our hopes for — and fears of — Whitney’s legacy lives within our fragile expectations of her daughter; forcing so many of us to cover our eyes and watch her through spread fingers, both repelled and drawn to what happens next.

Unfortunately, with the unexpected death of her mother still being processed, “Krissy” has plunged head first into the scripted reality of The Houstons: On Our Own with loved ones who, instead of throwing her a life raft, profit from her inexperienced, alcohol laced attempts to keep her head above water.

In the surreal days immediately following Whitney’s death, as everyone surrounding the legend pretended not to know that she was still a drug addict, Bobby Brown’s sister, Leolah Brown, shared her feelings that her sister-in-law did not die of natural causes — and that her niece was surrounding herself with people who would eventually take advantage of her or do her harm:

“I am concerned about my niece Bobbi Kristina, yes,” Leolah told Access Hollywood. “Krissy is not safe right now. I want to say to Krissy that it’s very, very, very important that she does not trust anybody at this time. Anybody except her father, her grandmother Cissy and myself. And I mean that.

“Right now is the time to just really shut the door.”

The woman’s warning was tossed aside as jealous trash, nothing more than an attention grapping tactic meant to focus the spotlight on her – if only for a second. And while I would never suggest that Bobbi Kristina’s family would do her harm, it is very clear that they enable her destructive behavior. She slirs and stumbles through her grief, keeping her brother turned fiancé, Nick Gordon near at all times. Her aunt, Pat Houston, puts up slight resistance, but nothing significant that deters her niece from spiraling into her mother’s living hell.

She is clearly, deeply grieving; yet the cameras are allowed to capture it all for America’s entertainment.

Clinical therapist, Viveca Latham Johnson, opines that the dynamic between Bobbi Kristina and her family is just the surface issue, while the relationship between her and Gordon holds the key to shaping how – or if — she survives this transitional period without long-lasting psychological scars.

“[This] show with her family displays their journey of walking through the grief process over their beloved mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend. But one has to ask is this beneficial for Bobbi Kristina. It is clear that she is still grieving, but the most concerning issue is the co-dependent relationship she has with her boyfriend/brother, Nick.

This is the type of relationship Bobbi has been exposed to in her home environment. It is evident through their interactions that it mimics the co-dependency of her parents’ relationship.

From what Johnson has observed, in her current environment, Bobbi Kristina will never be able to grieve honestly and in a way that allows her to heal.

“When an individual is in a co-dependent relationship it prevents them from really dealing with self,” says Johnson.” “Your time and energy is placed on this dysfunctional relationship because it validates your current behaviors. It prevents you from looking in the mirror and seeing your true self and embarking on the journey of change to be the best you. It is apparent that Bobbi Kristina has some issues. There is questionable substance abuse problems and signs of depression, but none of these issues can be resolved if she remains a partner in this co-dependent relationship. She needs to deal with her problems dead on — not for public consumption.”

Johnson’s observations could easily apply to Whitney Houston.

When “The Voice” began battling her demons, many people laughed at her and she was often reduced to a punch-line after years of being a diva. Still, she wanted to perform for fair-weather fans that didn’t even pretend to care past the last news cycle; and she desperately tried to claw herself back up from the bottom of her dreams, drug dependency dogging her every step.

What we see now is Bobbi Kristina, fueled by grief, hurdling down a similar path.

If her family really loves her, they will not continue to enable problematic, illegal behavior for the sake of ratings, under the guise of concern. They will not make her the new Whitney. Though the title of the show may be The Houstons: On Our Own, it is abundantly clear that they are not when every single one of them is dependent on Whitney’s memory and her child for their financial well-being.

This show is not entertainment; it is heartbreaking and potentially dangerous for a young girl at an extremely vulnerable time in her life. Hopefully, someone will enable her family to see that before it’s too late.

  • The Other Jess

    well gee, it’s not her “brother turned fiance”. it’s her STEP-BROTHER, making them in no way related. why continue to smear the girl more with false reports of incest? your article has parts that are just as damaging to the girl as every other media vulture.

  • Yaenelle

    Actually he’s her adopted brother, Whitney took him in during his early teens I believe. Step-brother is less creepy and less icky than brother but it’s still icky. If you’re giving a clinical opinion on someone’s life, get the facts right.

  • Rochelle

    WHitney did not legally adopt that boy. Please stop. If he was not legally adopted his is of no relation. Tired of black people making up that people are related to them. If it is not blood – it is not family. Even if you knew them since birth. That is why is there no such thing as a “godbrother”. wth is that? Stop trying to sensalize that relationship

  • Mademoiselle

    If anyone believes this show was put together for nobler reasons than any of the other reality shows, remember who’s really running the show: the network sharks. They smelled blood in the water when they first exploited both her parents’ vulnerabilities, and now that one has met her demise — the ultimate ratings boost, they’re going after the bits and pieces left floating in Bobbie Kristina. There’s no way I could be convinced she was ready this soon after her mother’s death to have her life broadcasted. Her aunt was right: trust no one, including the aunt. She’s damned either way: succeed, and the show and publicity wanes; fail, and the show profits off her downfall (because people love to watch a train wreck). She needs to be under the watch of a reputable psychologist to get her life in order.

  • Chillyroad

    Where is her father? She still has a living parent just in case anyone forgot and by the looks of things he may have been the superior parent. But, typical of too many black families men just get in the way of out of control matriarchs. I hope I am not sounding like Perspective.

    That man needs to be in his daughters life. Maybe it would be a good idea for her to spend the bulk of her time with her father his new wife and her new brother. Some stability, away from the cameras. Perhaps being around her baby brother will be beneficial to her.

    But hey, no money to be made that way so…

  • jjbsgrl

    Her father is still racking up DUI’s ,that’s where he is. “Stable” is not what Bobby Brown would be called right now

  • JaeBee

    Well, I guess “god-brother” is easier/much quicker to say than “my godparent’s male child”.

  • Lady P

    It is truly sad watching Bobbi Kristina go down this path. I am praying intervention comes quickly. I’m wondering if Bobby was more “stable”, would she listen to him? . Professional help is needed here..

  • Chillyroad

    Wow so now we are demanding perfection from parents in order for them to raise and or be in the lives of their children. So bobby brown fails the barack test. if he ain’t Barack it’s better for Bobbi Christina to be around a bunch of self serving vultures.

    Bobby Brown is better than the alternative. He IS her father. Or are fathers only important when someone needs to be blamed for wayward children?

  • Chillyroad

    Bobby is more stable and more importantly he is her FATHER. You remember what that is right?

  • Lady P

    Chillyroad…No argument here! I’m just wondering… Listen; what is best for Bobbi Kristina is the main concern. If her FATHER can help, by allmeans ~ he should step in and do so. The mother is gone; at least, save the child WHILE they still can.

  • Chillyroad

    I say they can go down that road together. I thought it was atrocious the way he was treated when Whitney died. Everyone knew she loved that man. I think now that he is married with children to integrate his daughter into his new family might be good for both of them. The responsibilities of being a big sister may be sobering.

  • Lady P

    Woo…yes Whitney did. #PitifulLove, honey!!!

    I felt sorry for Bobby at the funeral as well. I couldn’t continue to watch those episodes b/c Bobbi K really needs help. In this case, family is doing more harm than good..imo.

  • Robbie

    You can clearly see that her family who is supposedly having her best interest at heart is sucking the life out of this fragile young woman. A reality show, really! We all know that Whitney would have put her daughter in that situation. Shame on the Houston family for letting this going on. She needs help, therapy. She needs someone that has no interest whatsoever in her to help her deal with the loss of her mother and put her on the path to achieve great things. Money is indeed the root of all evil.

  • Shelly

    You mean the father who can’t get/stay clean to save his life? There’s no stability there either.

  • ChillyRoad


    Cleaner than Whitney ever was.

  • EST. 1986


    Bobbi Kristina doesn’t even want anything to do with her father.

  • EST. 1986

    JESUS CHRIST! The man has multiple children and multiple issues. This isn’t about perfection. Bobby cannot be a father to Bobbi that YOU think she needs.

  • EST. 1986

    I can’t worry about her life and mine.

  • melinda

    This article is SAD! You stated that fair weather fans is who she performed for? While that is partially true its the real fans that truly had whitneys and now bobbi kris best interests at heart. This article isnt going to help bobbi kris get better you just blantantly called her mother legacy nothing when we all know that she will always and forever be known as THE VOICE!

  • Joy

    Bobbi Kristina is grown. No one is forcing her to do this. Obviously it’s about the Benjamins….moola, money, a payday.Money has always made (some) people do foolish things, and always will

  • Joy

    Black America Intervention?!?!? Black American’s time would be better spent intervening the black brothers that are killing each other everyday, in every major city in this country. Let’s get serious folks. This reality show is nothing more than money grabbing entertainment

  • Chillyroad

    Really? I’m surprised since its completely unheard of to turn children against their father in the black community. Just shocking!

  • Chillyroad


    That means Lauryn Hill and Eryka Badu and a host of other black women are unfit parents.

  • EST. 1986

    No, it means you want to hijack this thread to talk about how good Black men are and how bad Black women are.

  • KnowYourHistory

    I agree, Chillyroad. Too many of our black dads are persona non gratis WITH THEIR OWN children in our community. That’s the NUMBER ONE reason why we as a community REMAIN here, stylin’ at the bottom of United States’ society.
    Bobby is the archetypical “bad n*gger” that threatens white males by his refusal to kowtow to white paternal supremacy, so, he gets pilloried in the press. His travails might’ve been more sympathetically portrayed. Black woman, watchers of more TV and the like than ANYONE in the US; ingest that swill with a SOUP SPOON, and dutifully parrot whatever they see/ hear on the flat screen. Tsk.
    Before Whitney kissed-off all of the wags by marrying whom she pleased, she was their perfectly pliable, angelic, songbird / ATM.

  • KnowYourHistory

    Um, nineteen years of age is not “grown”; particularly not in 2012.

  • EST. 1986

    Post comment.

  • Nicole

    Bobbi Kristina is old enough and needs to take some responsibility for her own life. She knows she’s being exploited but she doesn’t care because money is clearly her main priority in life.

  • EST. 1986

    No, it means you just want to derail this thread to talk about Black men and bash Black women.

  • theblackparacosmistmind

    Chillyroad stop. just stop it! You know damn well that there’s a difference between not being a perfect parent and being a substance abuser. My father was in my life and he was an alcoholic, but thaankkkk the Lord in Heaven I never really lived with him except for a year. And even then I hated it! You have know idea what it’s like to live with an alcoholic let alone deal with one for visitations, if you did you wouldn’t be spewing that nonsense.

    Bobby is grown now, and what she needs is professional help and a POSITIVE support system not perfect. No one is asking for perfection. Just because someone shares biological DNA with you, doesn’t make them a good parent. My father was half (if even that) the dad he could’ve of been if he sought professional help.

  • jasmine

    Nicole: Why would money be her “main” priority in life? From press reports she is the sole heir to her mother’s estate and from press reports, it’s in the six figures. In addition, she will not inherit the first installment until the age of twenty-one. The estate maintains a fuduciary role in her financial well-being; therefore your comment seems to be moot. How many nineteen years old take responsibility for their life when their parents has been the driving force throughout? People tend to give consent to situations when they are emotionally unable to disagree forcefully. In my opinion, that is happening to Bobbi Christina.

    Why would Bobbi Christina rely on Bobby Brown? It seems as though he is fighting his own demons. Why would Bobbi Christina inject people into her life who haven’t been there constantly for her or the mother. Wasn’t the aunt who was doing all the talking the one who sold Whitney’s story/pictures the the National Enquirer? Not a good fit.

    I will life Bobbi Christina up in prayer and ask God to help her heal and learn lessons as we all have too and through it all, she emerges as the victor.

  • karenmm2

    Rochelle, black folks carried the practice of treating and referring to close friends, etc. as family members from Africa. It’s an africanism that helped our communities survive our darkest times. We really need to know more about who we are why we do things before advocating throwing out practices that have made us strong, unique, resilient, and beautiful…and to speak directly to Bobbi Christina’s situation…even if they are not blood relatives, that fact that he was reared in her home and treated like a brother, but has now become her lover, is disturbing and problematic. It really does seem to speak to this young girl
    s reaching out for someone she can trust and feel safe with, and not being able to find any appropriate people to serve in this role. Her situation is terrifying and sad. And I wouldn’t want to see anybody’s child in this position.

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