Bobby Brown Faces Reality
It's a pretty wild landscape. Shot over six months in 2004, the Bravo series trails the 38-year-old R&B bad boy as he attempts to paint a picture of himself beyond the collection of arrests and bizarre behavior that has overshadowed his near dormant career in recent years. Houston, 41, also appears on the show, as do Bobbi Kristina and Brown's three children from other relationships: Landon, 18, LaPrincia, 16, and Bobby Jr., 14. "My kids know I'm crazy," says Brown, who shot to fame at 16 but hasn't had a hit since 1993. "But they also know I am a loving man. I hope people see that."
And yet Brown and Houston's often outrageous antics on the show (see box) are likely to raise even more eyebrows about the pair, who have grabbed headlines through the years for everything from their spiritual retreat in Israel to his arrest in December 2003 for allegedly striking Houston. (While he insists they were "play boxing," it was Houston who made the 911 call that resulted in the charges, which were dropped with her support.) Once the show wrapped, "a lot of people said, 'Was there drug abuse?' " notes producer Tracey Baker-Simmons. "I was with them for months and did not see them abusing drugs."
Brown acknowledges his past misdeeds but hasn't exactly stayed out of trouble. On June 1, a Massachusetts court issued an arrest warrant for him after he failed to appear at a hearing regarding child-support payments to ex-girlfriend Kim Ward, the mother of LaPrincia and Bobby Jr. (Brown's attorney says the singer had a stomach virus and is now awaiting a new court date.) Then on June 10, Brown jumped onstage during singer Brian McKnight's set at a New York City concert and had to be escorted off. "We were joking around backstage, and Bobby mistakenly thought he could join in during Brian's set," says his brother and manager Tommy Brown. "There were no hard feelings."
Despite everything, Brown says he and Houston remain as committed as ever. "She is my queen," he says, adding that the couple would like to expand their family: "She wants a boy, and I want her to be happy." As for his own happiness, he says he has newfound perspective. "I was a Toys 'R' Us kid—I didn't want to grow up. I just wanted to play and have fun all my life," says Brown. "I never knew that I could have fun just being Bobby."
Chris Strauss. Andrea Billups and Deborah Geering in Atlanta and Carla Hay, Tiffany McGee and Beth Perry in New York City
On Newsstands Now
- Brad's Devotion: The Inside Story
- Oklahoma Tornado: Heroic Rescues
- Michael Douglas on Catherine's Health
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine