Bobby Brown is suing Showtime Networks, the BBC and the producers of a 2017 documentary titled ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’ ‘Whitney: Can I Be Me?’ is a 2017 British-American documentary film that was written, co-produced and co-directed by Nick Broomfield. The film’s subject is the life and career of singer Whitney Houston.
Using Whitney Houston’s death on February 11, 2012 as a starting point, the documentary investigates Houston’s history and her emotional connections with her family and friends. The film uses archive footage from Houston’s 1999 World Tour mixed with testimonies from Houston’s family, friends and musicians who worked with her.
The documentary gives special attention to her relationships with her mother, father, husband, and daughter and her onetime best friend Robyn Crawford. The film also addresses Houston’s history of drug use, including allegations of an overdose in the 1990s.
The film touches upon Houston’s beginnings as a gospel singer, her discovery by Arista Records’s head Clive Davis, and key moments such as the releases of her debut album in 1985 and the film The Bodyguard in 1992.
According to new court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Brown is upset over the inclusion of footage of the musician and his children in the film. In the papers, which were filed on Wednesday, November 28, the 49-year-old singer is seeking $2 million over the use of what he asserts were unauthorized footages of himself and his late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, whom he shared with late ex-wife Whitney Houston.
In January 2015, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Brown’s daughter with Houston, was found unconscious in her bathtub at her residence in Roswell, Georgia. The 21-year-old was rushed into North Fulton Hospital where she was placed on a ventilator in a medically-induced coma to stop the swelling of her brain.
It was later reported her brain activity was “low”. Brown rushed to his daughter’s side and released a statement to the press requesting them to respect the family’s privacy. She was later transferred to Emory University Hospital. After doctors concluded that significant brain function was unlikely to occur, Bobbi Kristina was removed from the ventilator and put in the care of Hospice in Duluth, Georgia. She died there on July 26, 2015 at age 22.
The court documents state: “The film contains footage that Brown and BKB has never consented to have released. Brown and BKB appear in the film for a substantial period of time, in excess of 30 minutes. 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 15 years old.”
The documents also allege that neither Brown, Bobbi Kristina, nor her estate signed video release forms before the film premiered on Showtime in August 2017. The papers also state that the documentary falsely credited Brown’s company, Brownhouse Entertainment Inc., with providing the said video clips.
Additionally, Bobby claims in the papers that he and his children did not consent the inclusion of videos featuring his son Landon, 32, whom he shares with Melika Payne, as well as daughter LaPrincia, 28, and son Bobby Brown Jr., 26.
Brown conceded that he signed an agreement with two of the defendants in relation to his 2004 TV series, ‘Being Bobby Brown’, but said that there was an agreement that any footage captured was not to be used in future materials without his explicit consent.