Bobby Brown Files $2 Million Lawsuit Over Whitney Houston Doc

Bobby Brown BET Awards Arrival (Credit: YouTube)

Bobby Brown is taking legal action against the producers of a 2017 documentary about his late ex-wife, Whitney Houston.

Brown filed a $2 million lawsuit in New York Federal Court Wednesday, alleging that Showtime and the BBC used footage in Whitney: Can I Be Me without his consent.

The R&B singer also filed the lawsuit on behalf of the estate of his late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Bobbi Kristina passed away at age 22 in July 2015, six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub.

Brown’s filing accuses the BBC and Showtime of violating their rights by using more than 30 minutes of footage from the 2005 reality series, Being Bobby Brown. The Bravo series aired for a total of 10 episodes.

“The film contains footage that Brown and BKB never consented to have released,” the complaint states, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “Brown and BKB appear in the film for a substantial period of time, in excess of thirty (30) minutes.”

The legal filing continues: “The footage was actually recorded prior to the divorce in 2007 between Brown and Houston. Brown never signed or executed a release for the airing of the material that appears in the film. The footage of Brown is approximately fifteen (15) years old.”

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Brown’s filing also mentioned his other children, Landon Brown, 32, Bobby Brown Jr., 26, LaPrincia Brown, 28.

“The film contains images of [Brown’s] other children, Landon Brown, Robert ‘Bobby’ Brown Jr. and LaPrincia Brown as minor children. Brown never consented to have his children appear in the film Can I Be Me and his children never consented.”

Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal, the movie’s co-directors, aren’t defendants in the suit. But Brown’s legal team did include a 2016 letter from the collaborators, in which they asked him for a “fresh interview.” The Every Little Step performer declined the request.

The film first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017, later airing on Showtime in North America and the BBC in the United Kingdom. The lawsuit claims the producers didn’t receive consent to sell the film to Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.

“All the Defendants are keenly aware that intellectual property about the Plaintiffs and Houston are very valuable and of interest to the public,” it states.

Showtime has yet to comment on Brown’s filing.

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