How Bad Was Bobby Brown?

Sunday, May. 27th 2012 11:07 PM

How much of what you read or hear about other people’s romantic partnerships do you actually believe? Considering that there are only two people who know the whole truth about any relationship – the two people in it – is it really wise, or fair, to make assumptions or draw conclusions?


If you read my previous post on Whitney Houston, you know I have a great deal of respect for the late songstress and diva. In that blog, I honored her courage to be authentic and to chart her own course, such as when she married “bad-boy” Bobby Brown. Some readers/viewers responded less than positively to my thoughts about her marriage. They insisted that Bobby controlled Whitney and that he made her a drug addict. While I understand their reaction, I have to wonder how anyone could be so certain, when we only know what we have heard. And even first-hand accounts have been contradictory.

Consider this: During a 2009 interview with Oprah, Whitney sounded like the ultimate victim. She claimed that Bobby was unfaithful and jealous of her, and that he had spit on her. Whitney’s comments were particularly interesting because they were showcased by Oprah, who, I have heard, often avoids hosting guests known for being abusive. But in a 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, Whitney said that though Bobby never hit her, she had hit him … in anger. I am the first to say that neither hitting nor spitting is a nice way to treat a spouse or anyone else, but by her own account, Whitney appears to have been a bit aggressive herself. I wonder why he spit on her. Was it right after she punched him in the face? It certainly begs the question. Yet, Oprah, and probably many viewers, seemed to sympathize with her. The double-standard for how we think about abuse seems to put men at an automatic disadvantage when it comes to public opinion.

Whitney told Oprah that Bobby was jealous of her success. But she told Diane Sawyer that, while shooting The Bodyguard, “I’d wake up in the morning and I’d go, ‘I can’t do this. This is too much for me, Bobby. I’m going to quit today.’ He said, “No way are you going to do that. If you quit now, you are going to blame me for the rest of my life. You are going to do this movie and you are going to do it well. You can’t quit now.'”

Whitney told Oprah that Bobby was unfaithful. But Bobby had children with two other women before he married Whitney and had a reputation as a “ladies’ man.” I certainly wouldn’t have bet a penny on his being monogamous. I am not judging the man, only pointing out that Whitney knew his patterns going into the relationship. And we don’t know if they ever even agreed to monogamy. There have also been rumors that Whitney was a lesbian and Bobby was her cover. Don’t know what to believe? Me neither. That’s why I mind my own business when it comes to other people’s sex lives.

Fast forward to Oprah’s recent interview with Whitney’s brother and his wife, Patricia Houston, who was also Whitney’s manager. When Oprah asked the brother about Whitney’s marriage, he noted, “Bobby was a good guy.”

When she asked Patricia about Bobby introducing Whitney to drugs, she responded, “I don’t think that’s true.” She also noted, “Bobby and I had a good relationship. [Whitney] would always tell me, ‘You are always trying to protect him.’ I said, ‘No, I am protecting truth. You are wrong right now for what you are saying and what you are doing.'”

Over the years, both Bobby and Whitney have gotten plenty of bad press. But this entry is not really about either of them. It’s about how we perceive them. How do you typically digest stories you hear about marital discord? Do you slant more towards the man or the woman? The loudest or the quietest? Do you avoid judgment? Or do you presume to “know” more than you can confirm?

Remember the old adage: “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.” But how many of us act on this wisdom? Consider what you believed about Whitney and Bobby. I cannot reasonably draw any conclusions about their marriage. I don’t have enough reliable information. And if you only know what you’ve seen on television, I doubt you do either. But many people drew conclusions that were harsh, and judging by what we have heard from the people closest to Whitney, possibly incorrect.

When we examine other people’s relationships and what we believe about them, we have a rich opportunity to grow clearer about our biases, our own ways of filling in stories without clear information and details. It’s not easy to avoid the temptation of assuming. But you can do it. You’re Powerful.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

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How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

11 Comments on “How Bad Was Bobby Brown?”

  1. DANIEL S. M. Says:

    Yea; he’s TOTALLY innocent!!! Her downward spiral had NOTHING to do with his downward spiral, and wanting company in his gutter!!!

    Yea; no accountability nor responsibility for how ones actions/choices/life acts on anothers – most often those who they love!!!

  2. Kataurus B. Says:

    I never believe the hype. Often times you will receive one side of the story. Its always more. Check me out at Sign up and make a post about what ever it is on your mind.

  3. Donna F. Says:

    What about how sick was he =)

  4. Dr.Barbra R Says:

    He grew up in my neighborhood.
    While he was into bad things, no one can make you do anything that you don’t want to do.

  5. Troy Lard Says:

    I have a friend who was a very successful individual. Who was prosecuted because of the unjust slant involving women/men domestic disturbances. He was attacked by his wife, he attempted to restrain will holding a glass he had been drinking out of. During the tussle, the glass broke and they both were cut. She admitted that she attacked him and it was an accident. But he still did five years in prison (no priors) and lost everything he had worked for. So yes, the men are often falsely accused.

  6. Dr Rose M. Says:

    You seemed to have captured my sentiments on the relationship. I am hesitant to admit that I actually tuned into the show “Being Bobby Brown”. It was like a train wreck you couldn’t turn away from. It was this exposure into their private life that showed Bobby as being the more stable and reasonable of the pair.

    We live in a society where women are often times automatically viewed as the victim or as the good-girl-turned-bad. This is unfortunate because it prevents growth and insight for the woman. As I’ve heard Tony Robbins put it, women are notorious for validating other women’s pathologies.

  7. Stephanie H. Says:

    The last time he was asked, he responded “It’s my prerogative.” Do you feel it has changed throughout these years?

  8. Carla Says:

    Bobby was a sociopath who destroyed Whitney from the inside out. You claim that you aren’t judging, but you are really trying to peddle some nonsense that Bobby is a victim – not because anything Whitney did, but because the general public believe him to be the creep that he’s shown himself to be.

    You want to see the truth about Bobby Brown, watch this video full of UNDENIABLE truth:

  9. Lorraine Says:

    You point out that Whitney told Oprah Bobby was jealous, but failed to acknowledge that she told Diane the same thing. At which point Bobby interrupted the interview.

    You also failed to point out that while Whitney told Diane Bobby didn’t hit her, she told Oprah THE SAME THING. She said he wasn’t physically abusive – she didn’t consider his behavior as abuse – it’s just that most people consider what she described as abuse – and it is.

    Then you say that Whitney said Bobby cheated on her(which Bobby admits too), then suggest that it’s her fault or she deserved it?

    Bobby earned his reputation.

  10. insightful Says:

    Judging by the comments Whitney stans have nothing to do but go from site to site, create youtube videos to slander Bobby Brown

    Bobby Brown has owned up to all of his mistakes. From drunk driving to getting high. The problem comes in when people want to blame him for all of Whitney’s mistakes.

    Stans are upset that Whitney is dead by her own actions. They will continue to blame any and everybody else for Whitney’s choices.

    Great article by the way.

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    […] regular Frank Love readers probably know my opinion about all the talk surrounding their story: When it comes to other people’s relationships, […]

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