Born of stars but seemingly star-crossed, 21-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown has spent her entire life in the spotlight, fighting both her and her famous parents’ demons on TV, Twitter and in the tabloids. Now the daughter of music legend Whitney Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown is fighting for her life. She was found by her husband, Nick Gordon, unconscious in a bathtub Saturday, just as her mother was found unresponsive in a Beverly Hills, Calif., Hilton bathtub almost three years ago.
As prayers for Bobbi Kristina’s health spread across social media and the press this weekend, it was hard to overlook how she has continually struggled, from a rumored suicide attempt when she was 15 to allegations of substance abuse that have plagued her since Houston’s death.
The following is a timeline of her life lived in full view of the world, whether she wanted us there or not, from her celebrated birth to this weekend’s tragic turn of events.
March 4, 1993: Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown, the only child of superstar Whitney Houston, is born. Her father is Houston’s husband, R&B singer Bobby Brown.
June 30, 2005: Bobbi Kristina gets her first taste of the public spotlight when she is featured in her father’s Bravo reality-TV show Being Bobby Brown. The show is considered an epic train wreck, further sullying the image of her mother, as both parents are regularly shown high on drugs as a preteen Bobbi Kristina mills around in the background.
April 24, 2007: After 14 years of tumultuous marriage, Bobbi Kristina’s parents, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, divorce. Houston gains custody of the then-14-year-old Bobbi Kristina. Houston tells the court her then-soon-to-be-ex is too unreliable to care for his daughter: “If he says he’s going to come, sometimes he does. Usually he doesn’t.”
Friends close to the family say that after the divorce, Bobbi Kristina becomes Houston’s closest ally and friend. It is speculated that Houston showers her daughter in gifts and lets her drink alcohol in order to keep the teenager by her side, while others counter that Bobbi Kristina is her mother’s most fierce protector, taking on a caretaker role to the troubled singer.
May 1, 2008: Tabloids run with the salacious story that a then-15-year-old Bobbi Kristina was allegedly admitted to a psychiatric ward after she’d tried to attack her mother with a knife, then used the knife on herself to slit her wrists.
Feb. 11, 2012: Bobbi Kristina’s mother shockingly dies at age 48 while in Los Angeles for an annual pre-Grammy Awards party set to be thrown by her longtime mentor, producer and friend, Clive Davis. It is reported that just days before, Houston had looked “healthy and beautiful” swimming with her 18-year-old daughter in a hotel pool. Drugs are blamed as Houston is found submerged in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Feb. 12, 2012: Bobbi Kristina is rushed to Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Hospital a day after her mother’s death. TMZ reports that this was her second trip to the hospital since Houston death and that she was “inconsolable.” TMZ also reports that the night of her mother’s death, Bobbi Kristina got into an altercation with police over being allowed to see her mother’s body.
Feb. 19, 2012: Reports surface that Bobbi Kristina was using drugs after her mother’s funeral. According to Allison Samuels, writing for the Daily Beast, while other friends and family gathered at a local Newark, N.J., eatery to remember Houston, her daughter “simply disappeared.”
Samuels reported that family members later found Bobbi Kristina hours later in a hotel room, allegedly doing drugs. The family allegedly debated whether or not to send the 18-year-old to rehab right away or allow her to stay so that she could attend her mother’s burial in the morning.
“It’s a horrible situation for everybody,” Samuels reported a friend of the family said. “They tried to save Whitney, and it didn’t work. Now with Bobbi Kristina, they fear the same thing is happening again and they won’t be able to stop it either. Bobbi Kristina is all Ms. Cissy has left of Whitney. She’s so tired, but she’s ready to fight again to save her grandbaby.”
March 11, 2012: Bobbi Kristina tells Oprah Winfrey that it is up to her to carry on her mother’s legacy. It is later reported that Bobbi Kristina no longer desires a relationship with her estranged father, Bobby Brown. TMZ reports that she plans to change her last name to Houston.
March 30, 2012: Film and TV producer Tyler Perry announces that he has offered Bobbi Kristina a recurring role on his TBS sitcom For Better or Worse. It is set to be Bobbi Kristina’s acting debut. Almost immediately, gossip sites circulate a rumor that a grieving, drug-addled Bobbi Kristina had already quit the show, which spurs Perry to the teen’s defense: “Were there tough days for her? Yes of course. Not because of the acting or any job-related issues but because of the fact that she had just lost her mother … So please … Please leave this baby alone!!!! And she is a baby!!! Please stop the lies and give this child some room to breathe and grieve.”
April 9, 2012: TMZ reports that Bobbi Kristina wants to play her mother in any planned biopics about the troubled star’s life.
July 10, 2012: Bobbi Kristina announces that she is engaged to Nick Gordon, a young man her mother unofficially adopted and who had lived with the Houstons since he was at least 12.
July 21, 2012: Bobbi Kristina, 19, makes her debut on For Better or Worse to rave reviews, but she is slated to appear in only one season, announcing that she has obligations to an upcoming reality show set to be released by her family on Lifetime.
Oct. 24, 2012: The reality-TV show The Houstons: On Our Own debuts on Lifetime, eight months after Houston’s death. The show, which is Bobbi Kristina’s second foray into the world of reality television, the first being her father’s show Being Bobby Brown, shows a regularly inebriated Bobbi Kristina. The Houston family is also criticized for filming a reality show so soon after Houston’s death. Pat Houston, Houston’s sister-in-law, former manager and Bobbi Kristina’s guardian, defends her choice to include her grieving niece in the program. “Cameras have been following since she was born. It’s not exploitation of any kind,” Pat Houston said.
Jan. 10, 2013: To much shock and public derision, Bobbi Kristina—now 20—marries Nick Gordon, the 24-year-old described as being “like a brother” to her. Bobbi Kristina announces the marriage on Twitter. Despite early reports that she approved of the marriage, Bobbi Kristina’s grandmother Cissy Houston calls the relationship “incestuous.” Bobbi Kristina defends herself against critics by pointing out that she and Gordon are not related.
January 2014: Reports surface that Bobbi Kristina, now 21, is set to receive the first bit of her inheritance, placed in a trust for her to receive payouts after she turns 21, 25 and 30. Rumors abound that the family was trying to delay her receiving the reported $1.2 million in inheritance from a $12 million trust, out of fear that she would not be able to handle the money. Some even speculate that perhaps her mother had wanted Bobbi Kristina to receive the payments later, but lawyers can only operate from the existing will, which Houston had not made any recent changes to leading up to her death in 2012.
March 5, 2014: Bobbi Kristina’s cousin Gary Michael Houston reportedly accosts her husband, Nick Gordon, at a Sweet 16 party for a relative. TMZ claims the fight is over Gordon’s apparent disrespect toward the Houston family.
March 11, 2014: Bobbi Kristina pushes back against online critics who call her too thin after Gordon shares a bikini photo of her on Twitter. The 21-year-old appeared much smaller than she had in the past. Bobbi Kristina tweeted: “I am my mothers child ! Have you ever heard of a #fastmetabolism ? Damn, lol it's incredible how the world will judge you 4ANY&EVERYthing.”
March 27, 2014: Pat Houston acquires a restraining order against her niece’s husband, Gordon. TMZ reports that Houston’s sister-in-law sought the order of protection after Gordon “made threatening comments and posted photos of guns” on social media.
July 15, 2014: A picture surfaces on Instagram of a woman who looks like Bobbi Kristina using a bong to smoke drugs. Bobbi Kristina claims on Twitter that she did not post the picture, writing: “I’ve never posted any photo of me doing anything! This is someone trying to tarnish and make a horrible name for MYSELf. People are insane.”
June 16, 2014: A seemingly reconciled Bobbi Kristina and her father, Bobby Brown, appear hugging each other in a Father’s Day photo on social media.
June 26, 2014: Actress Angela Bassett gives an interview to Entertainment Weekly upon being tapped to direct a Lifetime movie about Whitney Houston in which she claims she did not consider Houston’s daughter as a viable alternative to play the singer because “she’s not an actress.”
July 1, 2014: Bobbi Kristina goes on a rant on Twitter about Bassett not casting her in the lead for the Lifetime biopic about her mother. On social media, Bobbi Kristina writes: “When I win my first Grammy or Oscar, *Shrugs* hmm whichever comes1st, I’ll be sure 2shout URname out bitch!” Brown also accuses Bassett of looking like a “male.” Bobbi Kristina later deletes the tweets from her account.
Aug. 28, 2014: Bobbi Kristina’s husband, Gordon, is busted on charges of driving while under the influence after a car crash.
Jan. 17, 2015: Lifetime debuts the Bassett-directed film based on the early years of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown’s relationship. The family is disappointed by the biopic. Cissy Houston tells People magazine, “I’m glad the Lifetime project is finished. I hope from now on her fans will keep her child, [Bobbi Kristina Brown], in their prayers, and I hope people will let my child rest.”
Jan. 31, 2015: In an eerie parallel, almost three years to the anniversary of her mother’s death, reports emerge that Bobbi Kristina, too, has been found unconscious in a bathtub.