Bobby Brown Talks Whitney Houston, Drugs, Funeral with Matt Lauer: Is He to Blame?

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When songbird Whitney Houston died earlier this year, her family, fans and the music industry suffered a crushing blow. We had all lost the woman simply known as "The Voice" at the premature age of 48. She left behind her seemingly troubled 19-year-old daughter Bobbi Kristina, mother Cissy Houston and many others to grieve.

On the day of her funeral, her "Homegoing Service" was broadcast on CNN and other news networks. Like many of my fellow Americans, I was captivated by the televised memories of the star I had never known in person. I felt connected somehow to the woman who had written the soundtrack for my teen years.

Unfortunately, even Whitney's funeral was wrapped in controversy, as was her life. It seemed that her ex-husband Bobby Brown, no stranger to issues with the law, had some sort of altercation with her family and left the funeral early. Everyone from Piers Morgan to the average citizen was outraged. Could he not let her have peace even in death?

In Whitney's final interview with the "Oprah Winfrey Show" in 2009, Houston discussed her turbulent relationship with the New Edition singer. She spoke openly about verbal and mental abuse, including Brown spitting on "The Bodyguard" star in front of their child. Whitney's words only confirmed what her fans had long felt; that Bobby was a bad influence. He was largely blamed in popular culture for Whitney's drug abuse even though she was several years older.

Today, Bobby is finally speaking his piece. The embattled R&B singer sat down with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show." It is the first part of a two-part interview. He explained emphatically that he was not the one who introduced Houston to drugs: "I didn't get high before I met Whitney. I smoked weed, I drank the beer, but no, I wasn't the one that got Whitney on drugs at all." He insisted that Whitney was a drug user before they met, and says that he has been clean of narcotics for seven years.

Brown also went on to talk about the reality series, "Being Bobby Brown." Outside of Houston's disastrous 2002 "crack is wack" interview with Diane Sawyer, the TV show was the most damaging piece of media to the singer's former reputation as a classy and elegant diva. Bobby candidly told Matt that the show was eye opening to them as a celebrity couple as well: "We looked at the bubble and saw ourselves. We was able to see what other people were saying about us, you know? We was able to see that our drug use had affected our relationship, had affected the love that we felt for each other."

No matter what anyone thinks of her former husband, Whitney is gone. As we all know, she died in a hotel bathroom in February with cocaine in her system. This story is tragic no matter how it is told.

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