Bobby Brown Reveals Past Sexual Abuse Attempt by a Priest in A&E Docuseries: 'I Just Want to Heal' (Exclusive)
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Bobby Brown is giving fans an intimate look at his tumultuous life in a way he never has before. The 53-year-old R&B music star and his wife, Alicia Etheredge-Brown, opened up to ET's Nischelle Turner ahead of the singer's new A&E docuseries, Biography: Bobby Brown, premiering May 30.
The two-part series charts the GRAMMY winner's rise to stardom and the fallout from his struggles with sobriety and the deaths of his two children, Bobby Jr. and Bobbi Kristina, and first wife, Whitney Houston.
In addition to Bobby, the documentary features new interviews with friends and family, including Usher, Jermaine Dupri, Keith Sweat, Babyface, New Edition’s Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill.
"To revisit them was really therapeutic," Bobby said regarding the darker moments in his life. "To go back and remember some of the things that might of hurt me, that made me feel less than, it was just good to get it all out. [To] clean it all out and get it all out on the table."
The New Edition artist explained that he decided to delve into his trials and tribulations for the good of his mental health and his family. "I felt I had to release whatever demons were still locked up inside of me," he shared, saying he wanted to begin a "clean slate" for his wife and his remaining children.
"You have to speak about [it] in order to clear pathways for you to heal, and that’s what I just want to do. I just want to heal from all of the negative things that’s happened in my life," Bobby said.
Alicia, who shares children Cassius, Bodhi and Hendrix with Bobby, and his children with former partners, including Landon and LaPrincia, told ET that she was proud of her husband for sharing his story. The docuseries delves deeply into his past with drugs, alcohol and sexual abuse, revealing that a priest attempted to molest Bobby when he was a child.
"It definitely is something that he doesn’t talk about often but we have spoken about it and I was very proud of him at that moment because I knew he was a little, like, taken back that he was gonna go there and reveal it, but when you’re being open, you go all the way," Alicia said.
While Biography: Bobby Brown revisits the singer's past, Every Little Step gives an intimate look at Bobby's life right now. The new, unscripted 12-episode series offers an inside look at his life with Alicia and their children as he sets his sights on new business opportunities, new music and the 2022 reunion with New Edition on The Culture Tour.
When asked what he'd like the world to know about his family, Bobby answered that they are a "simple family" that loves the typical family things. "[We] love eating, we love loving, we love playing games... my kids are just the most special kids I’ve ever known," he added.
Alicia shared that she was excited for people to see the "little mayhem" that is their family. "They keep us on our toes," she said of her children. "Bobby keeps us laughing and [is] the chef in our house, so you’ll see a lot of cooking and love around our dinner table, and just really enjoying our lives and getting through the tough times together."
As for getting back together with New Edition, the singer admitted to still being "a little jittery" when he steps back onstage. "Then when you hear the crowd, it's just like a release, you know? You just start to relax and do what you have to do."
Fans got a taste of what’s to come during the 2021 American Music Awards when New Edition took the stage and was honored by fellow Boston-bred group New Kids on the Block.
But Bobby's journey back to the stage wasn't as easy as it seems. Alicia shared that her husband had to do "double the work" to get back into the groove alongside his group members, Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell and Johnny Gill.
"Most people didn't realize Bobby was learning a lot more because he hadn't been touring with the five other guys," she explained. "So he had a lot of steps to learn. A lot of additional songs to learn. He kind of had double the work [but] he really did well and they were rooting him and supporting him the whole way. Bobby worked really hard to get to that place where they are finally on that stage."
ET spoke with the band before they kicked off the tour in January. The group showed their full support for Brown, saying that it’s like he hasn't missed a beat when he takes the stage.
“Just seeing in the rehearsal watching him, how much he’s grown,” Johnny said as Bobby kissed him on the cheek. “I don’t know how many years it’s been. I just sit and watch. It’s going to be a moving experience. I think the fans are really going to enjoy it.”
Every Little Step also includes Bobby's first visit to the gravesites of Whitney and Bobbi Kristina, and holds a special tribute in honor of Bobby Jr.
Bobbi Kristina was found face-down in a bathtub in her Georgia home on Jan. 31, 2015. After spending nearly six months in a coma, she died in hospice care on July 26, 2015, at the age of 22. She was buried in New Jersey next to her late mother, Whitney, who died in February 2012.
Bobby Jr. died on Nov. 18 as a result of drug and alcohol toxicity, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's Office. According to their report, his death was attributed to the "combined effects of alcohol, cocaine and fentanyl." He was 28 years old.
Admitting that the pain of losing his children and first wife can still feel fresh, Bobby shared that it was through the strength of his late parents that he feels able to pull through. "I still work at it every day, you know, but it’s difficult," he admitted. "But I got my lovely wife and my kids that [are] always there and always rooting for me... making me get up in the morning and do things... keeping my mind focused on being better for Bobby."
"I feel like I’m being watched over," he added. "I feel like my grandmother, my mother, my father, my sister and God [have] a plan for me and I just don’t know what it is yet, so I’m just gonna wait and let it work on me."
Biography: Bobby Brown, the two-night event, premieres Monday, May 30 and Tuesday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. Bobby Brown: Every Little Step premieres Tuesday, May 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT with new episodes airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT starting June 7.
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