It’s been three years since Whitney Houston died, and the singer’s family is still in turmoil. Houston, who was 48 at the time of her death, was found submerged in a bathtub at her Beverly Hills hotel room on Feb. 11, 2012. A coroner’s report found that Houston died from accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use also factors. The anniversary of her passing is more difficult for relatives this year due to the hospitalization of Houston and Bobby Brown’s only daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown.
Bobbi Kristina was found unresponsive in a bathtub at her suburban Atlanta home on Jan. 31. The 21-year-old was reportedly put in a medically induced coma for swelling of the brain and placed on life support. The incident mirrors Houston’s death, bringing up old emotions for family members as they wait by her bedside.
Whitney Houston’s Funeral
Tension between the Brown and Houston families was high at Whitney’s 2012 funeral, with Bobby Brown leaving the Newark, New Jersey, church during the service. He later released a statement to the media explaining the situation:
“My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston. We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions. I fail to understand why security treated my family this way and continued to ask us and no one else to move. Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. In light of these events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene. … I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know.”
The Houstons denied Brown’s version of events, and a source said he arrived with eight more guests than anticipated. An insider told CNN that Brown wasn’t asked to move, but his guests were asked to sit in a “different section to make room for Cissy [Houston, Whitney's mother] and the rest of the family.”
Lifetime’s “Whitney” Biopic
Houston’s passing was dragged into the spotlight again in mid-January when Lifetime premiered an unauthorized biopic titled “Whitney.” The TV movie didn’t cover her death, but instead focused on her career, drug use and relationship with singer/songwriter Brown. The film outraged Houston’s estate, which claimed that Lifetime went forward “without the family’s blessing and despite her mother’s request to not do this movie.” The director, the actress Angela Bassett, was accused of “misrepresenting” her friendship with Houston to “advance an agenda.”
Bobbi Kristina’s Hospitalization
Since Bobbi Kristina Brown’s hospitalization, the Houstons and Browns have been at odds over her care. Reports are circulating that the Houstons set up a "perimeter" at the hospital and refused to give members of the Brown family the “passcode to gain entrance.”
With the outcome looking grim, sources are saying the two families are now “preparing for war” because of the incident at Whitney’s funeral. However, other reports deny the fighting, stating that the two families have come together to pray for Bobbi Kristina’s recovery.
Whitney Houston’s Estate
With Bobbi Kristina’s survival in doubt, there is now drama surrounding Houston’s estate, which is alleged to be worth $20 million. According to Radar Online, she received 10 percent of her mother’s estate on her 21st birthday, and was set to inherit all of it – including royalties from Whitney’s “music, likeness and image” – on her 30th birthday. The inheritance worried gospel singer Cissy Houston, the executor, who feared that people would take advantage of her granddaughter. This caused another rift in the family because of Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend and so-called adopted brother, Nick Gordon. Although Bobbi Kristina told the press in January that she and Gordon were married, the family released a statement after her injury denying Gordon was her legal husband.
Whitney Houston’s will states that if something should happen to her daughter the estate would be divided between her mother, Cissy, and other family members – including Bobby Brown. But the will was created before Whitney divorced him in 2006. Brown is reportedly “unable to make any claims on his late wife’s estate” due to the divorce. Meanwhile, the family is asking that police investigate Gordon for foul play.