Lomas, who lived off and on with Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston s daughter and boyfriend Nick Gordon, is opening up for the first time about what he says life was like for Brown in the days leading up to him finding her floating unconscious in her bathtub on Jan. 31, 2015.
“We were all pretty bad into drugs,” Lomas, 27, tells PEOPLE exclusively in this week’s issue, describing his, Brown, and Gordon’s life together at a townhouse in Roswell, Georgia, following Houston’s death.
Like Gordon, Lomas says he was taken in by Houston as a troubled teen. At the time, he and Brown were romantically involved, but that ended when he went to jail in 2011 on a probation violation. “[Whitney] loved that we were dating and always wanted me to protect Krissy,” says Lomas, who was still incarcerated at the time of Houston’s death.
After his release, he says Gordon, 26, and Brown, 22, began dating. “Their relationship was bipolar,” says Lomas. “[They had] extreme highs and lows and would fight, mostly about jealousy.” Two weeks before Brown’s incident, “we all decided that we were going to get off drugs, live healthier lifestyles. We all went to the gym together,” he says. “But it didn’t work out. We started using again.”
For more of Max Lomas’ shocking, tragic memories of life with Bobbi Kristina Brown and Nick Gordon, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday
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Lomas says that at one point, Gordon became abusive towards Brown, which Gordon’s lawyers have vehemently denied, contesting all of Lomas’ claims and calling him “a drug addict” in a recent statement made to PEOPLE.
Brown’s family, including Bobby Brown, filed a $40 million civil suit against Gordon, who during an interview with Dr. Phil in April, admitted to using drugs, but insisted he was never abusive. “[Bobby] hurt his own daughter, not me,” said Gordon. “I was the one there for her while she was dealing with him not being there.”
Not long after the group’s failed attempt at sobriety, Lomas says he called Brown’s aunt Pat Houston. “They were planning an intervention and taking her to L.A.,” he recalls, which Bobby Brown also claims was the case in his memoir Every Little Step. But that intervention never happened.
Lomas, who now says he’s sober, still doesn’t know what exactly happened to Brown the night he pulled her limp body from the ice cold water in her bathroom. “When you are living that kind of lifestyle, it’s hard to remember each day,” he says. “They all kind of blended together.” But now, “I’m able to process things.”
No longer friends with Gordon, Lomas says he remembers Brown, who died last July after spending months in a coma, for her spirit. “If she was alive, I know she would be living in LA and pursuing her music career and doing all the things she wanted to do. She had such a beautiful heart.”