Judge makes S$51 million ruling against Bobbi Kristina Brown's former boyfriend

Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, reveals a tattoo with the initials "W H" as she waves while arriving with boyfriend Nick Gordon at the premiere of the new film Sparkle.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston, reveals a tattoo with the initials "W H" as she waves while arriving with boyfriend Nick Gordon at the premiere of the new film Sparkle.PHOTO: REUTERS

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia judge on Thursday entered a judgment of more than US$36 million (S$51 million) against Bobbi Kristina Brown's former boyfriend after he was held legally responsible for her 2015 death, attorneys for Brown's estate said.

The judgment against Nick Gordon, who has not been criminally charged, totalled US$36.25 million, according to attorneys David Ware and Glenda Hatchett, who represented Brown's estate.

Brown's estate, who brought the lawsuit, accused Gordon of causing her death by giving her a "toxic mixture" and also stealing from her bank account while she was comatose. Gordon has denied the allegations and said he tried to save Brown's life.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford ruled against Gordon by default in the lawsuit after neither Gordon nor his lawyer attended a hearing in the case in September, Ware said. "The Defendant will not escape justice nor ever profit from his misdeeds. We hope that in some small way this will allow Krissy's family to continue their quest for peace," Ware said in an emailed statement.

Representatives for Gordon could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22, an aspiring singer and the only child of Grammy-winning singers Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, was discovered face down in the bathtub of her north Atlanta home in January 2015 and died about six months later without coming out of a coma.

An autopsy found that drug intoxication and the immersion of her face in the water contributed to her death.

Ware said he doubted the estate would be able to collect the full judgment, but added: "Collection is not the issue; justice is."

He provided a breakdown of the award, saying that among other accounts the judge assessed nearly US$14 million for pain and suffering, about US$4.5 million in punitive damages, and US$1.575 million for money allegedly taken from her account and stolen jewellery.

Brown died three years after Houston drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel. The authorities said cocaine abuse and heart disease contributed to Houston's death on Feb 11, 2012.