In his first interview following Whitney Houston‘s sudden death on February 11, her ex-husband Bobby Brown speaks up about Houston’s history with drugs, his reaction to her passing, and his interaction with her just a week before her death.

“I’m not the reason she’s gone,” Brown declares in a two-part interview airing on the Today show Wednesday and Thursday (May 2 and 3). According to an official NBC transcript of the lengthy interview, Brown’s reaction follows repeated questioning from Today anchor Matt Lauer, who told Brown that many fans believe he is to blame for Houston’s death from accidental drowning with traces of cocaine in her system.

“It makes me feel terrible,” Brown says, referring to the fingers pointed at him regarding Houston’s death. “But you know, I know differently. I think if anyone ever knew us, if anybody ever spent time around us instead of time looking through the bubble — they would know how we felt about each other. They would know how happy we were together… And the reality show [Bravo’s Being Bobby Brown] gave us a wake up, because we saw each other in — 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.”

Lauer mentions what many have suggested through the years – that Brown was the one who got her hooked on narcotics. But Brown claims otherwise, saying, “I wasn’t the one that got Whitney on drugs at all” and “I didn’t get high before I met Whitney.”

In fact, Brown says he was hurt when he heard the coroner’s report declare that Whitney had cocaine in her system when she died.

“I was hurt… because, you know, me being off of narcotics for the last seven years — I felt that she was, you know, I didn’t know she was struggling with it still,” he said. “But at the same time, you know — listen, it’s a hard fight. It’s a hard fight to, you know, maintain sobriety that way.”

Brown also said he believes the cocaine she took before she died was just a recent slip-up with drugs – not a pattern – for Houston, whom he described as glowing and “doing really well” in the weeks preceding her death. “She just looked like she was in a good place,” Brown said.

Today also sat down with three of Brown’s children (though not Houston and Brown’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina), as well as Brown’s fiancee. The interviews air in two parts starting tomorrow morning and continuing Thursday.

–Jillian Mapes, CBS Local


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