It was a tragic end for Bobbi Kristina Brown’s former boyfriend Nick Gordon. The 30-year-old died of a reported drug overdose yesterday morning (Jan. 1) in Florida. Jack Walker Jr., his brother, told PEOPLE in a statement, “We are devastated by the loss of my beautiful brother. He leaves a void in the hearts of my family and his friends. Nick’s battle in life was not an easy one. I will be forever grateful that my God afforded a small moment at the very end of Nick’s life, and I was able to hold his hand as he journeyed on.”
Nick Gordon was a family friend of Whitney Houston and reportedly began living with the late pop icon when he was 12 years old. Whitney allegedly looked at Nick Gordon “like her son,” and he often said he called her mom. When Gordon began dating Houston’s daughter, Bobby Kristina, shortly after her mom’s death, it raised a lot of eyebrows, not just because of the family connections (Whitney never officially adopted Gordon, but her mother, Cissy Houston, once called the relationship “incestous”) but also because many believed Gordon to be a bad influence on the vulnerable young woman.
After Whitney Houston died on February 11, 2011, Bobbi Kris and Nick Gordon reportedly got closer. Their relationship was featured on the reality show The Houstons: On Our Own, which premiered May 11, 2012. By October of 2012, the two were engaged. However, they never married. Gordon claimed Whitney Houston always wanted them to marry.
ABC reported in 2015, “Gordon was never legally adopted by the singer nor was he left anything in her will. Instead, Houston left her entire estate to her only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, who has to wait until she’s 30 to inherit everything.”
There were reports of domestic violence in the relationship. Tragically, on January 31, 2015, Nick Gordon and his friend Max Lomas found Bobbi Kristina unconscious in the bathtub in the Atlanta home she shared with Gordon. (Houston was found in nearly identical circumstances when she died years earlier.) After several months in a coma, Bobbi Kristina died on July 26, 2015, at 22 years old.
Max Lomas died in 2018 of a reported drug overdose. He was 28 years old.
Gordon stayed in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In 2015, he did a disturbing interview with Dr. Phil where he appeared to be on drugs. He even threatened suicide, see below:
In September of 2016, Gordon was found liable in the wrongful death case of Bobbi Kristina Brown. He was ordered to pay $36 million to Brown’s estate.
Gordon’s final post on social media was on March 4, 2017 — wishing Bobbi Kristina Brown a happy birthday.
In March of 2018, Gordon was accused of domestic violence by his girlfriend at the time, Laura Leal. One month later, in April, she denied being hit by Gordon, and no charges were brought against him.
The Daily Mail reports that Gordon suffered several heart attacks on New Year’s Day and was rushed to an intensive care unit at Altamonte Springs Hospital in Georgia, where he later died.