On Saturday, Lifetime aired Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have It All, a documentary teeming with talking heads from the inner circle of Houston and her daughter, including relatives, godchildren, Whitney Houston: Can I Be Me? co-director Rudi Dolezal, and singers Cherrelle and Pebbles. Didn’t We was clearly not authorized by Houston’s estate (executor Pat Houston wasn’t so much as mentioned and could only be seen fleetingly in footage), but it didn’t contain much of the luridness typical in unauthorized media of this nature. It was chatty and gossipy but without earth-shattering revelations or truly scandalizing material—mostly it served to merely shade in a Russian nesting doll-style design of related tragedies so immense it’s still hard to wrap one’s head around them, years later.
Maybe the biggest news to come from the doc was the claim that Houston had saved her daughter from drowning in a bathtub the same weekend that Houston herself would be found facedown and dead in a hotel bathtub. “If my godmother had not walked in that bathroom the very second that she did, Krissi would have died,” said Brandi Boyd, Houston’s goddaughter.
What I found most illuminating were comments from the sister of Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown. Tina Brown was Houston’s drug buddy and she recounted how, in the aftermath of Houston’s disastrous 2002 interview with Diane Sawyer, they laughed about her “Crack is wack” comment and considered getting it printed on merchandise.
“It was funny then,” said Brown. “It’s not funny now.”
Brown also claimed that the 2006 Enquirer story that featured a picture of Houston’s filthy and paraphernalia-laden bathroom, and in which Brown was a source, was a coordinated “cry for help” from both of them.
“That wasn’t just her mess,” said Brown of the photo’s depiction. “That was our mess.”
Houston’s relationship with singer/reality star Ray J was also discussed, and people said positive things about their time together.
Within months of Houston’s death, her family convened for the reality series The Houstons: On Our Own and put their grieving on display. The execution of this series managed to be worse than its exploitative concept, as it featured a clearly distraught and seemingly inebriated Bobbi Kristina in severe pain. People close to her recalled their misgivings about the production.
Interestingly, The Houstons: On Our Own aired on Lifetime, the same channel that aired Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have It All. In this segment, then, Lifetime criticized Lifetime, and rightfully so.
None of the members of the Houston-Brown inner circle featured in this doc were shown saying anything kind about Nick Gordon, Houston’s unofficially adopted son, whom Bobbi Kristina Brown “married” (though not legally), and was ultimately found guilty in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Bobby Brown in the wake of Bobbi Kristina Brown’s death. Gordon died of a heroin overdose last year. His brother spoke on his behalf and in his defense in Didn’t We Almost Have It All, saying he was portrayed unfairly. Given the abuse that Gordon allegedly afflicted on Bobbi Kristina Brown, his brother’s words were quite unconvincing.