Last night, Twitter put me on to some new information…or some old information that was new to me. This account, Throwback hits/facts (@goldenerahits) informed me that Bobby Brown and Janet Jackson were an item in the mid eighties.
It all happened with Bobby declaring his love…or infatuation for Janet on BET’s “Video Soul.”
When host Donnie Simpspon asked Bobby about his love life, he said, “I’m in love with Janet Jackson.”
And shortly after, he got a call. From there, their relationship took off.
“I really fell for Ms. Jackson. I never usually fall for women that fast, but she was an exception. Maybe it had something to do with my childhood crush; or maybe it was because she was one of the finest and most sought after women in the world at the time. I don’t know what it was, but she had me ‘open!'”
But it didn’t last too long. He told her that he loved her and wanted her to leave the man she was with but according to Bobby, she broke up with him because her parents didn’t want her with a Black man.
My first reaction was to chuckle. That’s pretty ridiculous, considering Janet and her family members are Black.
But considering the Jackson family and their dating history, I really shouldn’t be surprised.
Anyway, aside from the fact that they dated, which is interesting in and of itself, Bobby’s reaction to the whole thing is quite revealing as well.
In his 2008 biography, Bobby Brown: The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But, Derrick Handspike, the author, writes about Bobby’s drug use over the years.
“Bobby has sold drugs before, so he always knew the effect they could have on you. Looking back, there were always certain incidents in his life that propelled his drug use. He reflects, ‘Watching my sister’s fiancé get killed definitely caused my drug use to escalate. I can recall that I started drinking heavily when Janet Jackson and I broke up. Before I met Janet, I would never drink hard liquor, I only drank beer. But after our break up, I started drinking hard liquor excessively. I took the way our relationship ended very hard. Not to say we were head-over-heels in love, but she was someone I had a lot of feelings for.”
He also talked about never using cocaine until he met Whitney.
All of Bobby’s reference points for escalating drug use are tied to women in his life. He might have been close to his sister’s fiancé but I’m sure it was seeing her deal with that loss and empathizing with her pain that drove him to substances. Janet broke his heart and crushed his ego so he started drinking. And Whitney, with all of her beauty, talent, influence and popularity at the time convinced him to start using cocaine.
I’m not going to deny the ability to recognize and identify triggers. It’s important. But I’m willing to bet that there’s another, deeper level to Bobby’s propensity toward addictive behaviors and addiction itself. And it likely goes deeper than the women he dated/married.
If it weren’t so, he would have managed to kick the drinking and drug use habits when the relationships ended. I don’t know much about Bobby’s cocaine use but the heavy drinking certainly didn’t stop.
Still, I get it. Bobby is used to being the blame guy. The one who catches all the hell when things go left with America’s starlets. So I understand his desire to clear his name and paint a different, more realistic picture. And that’s cool too. There’s nothing wrong with the truth. I haven’t read the whole book but I would hope that the truth about the real origins of his addictions are addressed in there too.