In the newest episode of Red Table Talk, “An Urgent Warning from Bobby Brown,” the embattled recording artist and his wife Alicia Etheredge-Brown opened up to hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris about Bobby’s struggle with alcoholism and how his son’s failed battle with addiction shook up his family.
“Alcohol, I started losing bodily function,” Brown bluntly said during his sit-down. “My body started shutting down because I was drinking that much… My body just was giving out on me. Even with alcohol, I got to the point where I needed it.” He then continued to describe symptoms of what sounded like delirium tremens when he said, “I needed it to wake up. I needed it to stop the shakes, to function on a day-to-day basis. For me, it wasn’t recreational.”
But then the topic shifted to the singer’s son, Bobby, Jr., who died last November at 28 years old. Three weeks ago, the Los Angeles County coroner’s autopsy report stated that Brown’s son accidentally died last November from a mixture of “alcohol, cocaine and the opioid fentanyl,” adding that he “had a history of drug and alcohol use.” But Bobby, Sr. wanted to make a distinction between himself and his son; to him, it was curiosity which did in his son.
“He wasn’t a user. He would experiment with different things,” the elder Brown said of his son. “It wasn’t like [Bobby, Jr.] was dependent on drugs like when I was in my situation. I depended. I needed it. He was a young man that tried the wrong stuff, and it took him out of here.”
However, It was talking to Bobby, Jr.’s younger brother, eleven-year-old Cassius, which spoke to how traumatic his death was to the family. “We sat down, and we spoke, honest, truthfully (about) what was found, how [Bobby, Jr.] did it. We first asked what [Cassius] thought,” Etheredge-Brown said. “[It’s] terrifying for a kid to think that maybe my brother went to sleep and he didn’t wake up.”
Brown says that he has stayed away from any narcotics for nearly the past two decades and has not had a sip of alcohol in over a year. But the deaths of both his son and his daughter Bobbi Kristina from drugs pushes Bobby, Sr. to keep fighting his own addictions as well as the keeping those substances away from others. “I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed they find the people and get these drugs off the street,” he said, “but my babies are gone.”
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