One year after the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, we look back at the key players in the sad saga of Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's daughter

By Jordan Runtagh
Updated July 26, 2016 07:00 PM
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Credit: Jim Spellman/Wireimage

On Jan. 31, 2015, Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown‘s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown was found unresponsive in the bathtub of her home. She never regained consciousness, and after a nightmarish six months of medically induced comas and hospice stays, she slipped away on July 26 at the age of 22. The murky circumstances surrounding her death ensured that her story would live on.

A cast of characters have emerged from this true-life drama, ranging from famous family members, former lovers and childhood friends. Many want to know what’s to become of Bobbi Kristina’s multi-million dollar fortune – but all want to the truth behind her premature demise. One year later, PEOPLE gives you all the updates from major players in this tragedy.

Bobby Brown

The former New Edition boy bander released a tell-all memoir, Every Little Step, in June. The book makes many shocking claims about his relationship with Whitney Houston, from drug use in front of a young Bobbi Kristina to explicit details of infidelity and physical abuse. He also gave an extremely candid and emotionally raw interview to 20/20, in which he maintains he had sex with a ghost and also implicated Nick Gordon in the incident that resulted in Bobbi Kristina’s passing.

“It’s not a mystery to me. The same thing that happened to my daughter is what happened to Whitney,” Brown, 47, told Robin Roberts. “There’s only one person that was around both occasions,” he added, to which Roberts replied, “You won’t say his name Nick Gordon is who you’re referring to.” Brown refused to speak Gordon’s name publicly, but he did name himself as a plaintiff on a lawsuit holding Gordon responsible for Bobbi Kristina’s death.

Nick Gordon

Bobbi Kristina’s boyfriend faces a $50,000,000 wrongful death lawsuit originally filed by her estate last year. “Ms. Brown died due to a violent altercation with Defendant (Gordon) after which he placed her in a bathtub, unconscious, after he injected her with a toxic mixture,” reads the legal documents obtained by local Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV. Gordon’s attorney Jose Baez refuted the accusations, saying: “We have repeatedly said that Nick Gordon is innocent of any wrongdoing. He has not been charged with any crime. Enough is enough; let’s end this baseless speculation.”

Despite the sensitive nature of the investigation, Gordon has given a number of high profile interviews about Bobbi Kristina’s death, most notably appearing on the Dr. Phil show in April. The move further antagonized Bobbi Kristina’s family, and the following month her father Bobby Brown co-signed the wrongful death suit. The renewed motion alleges that Gordon “ignores the Court’s mandates but freely discusses his role in the incident which led to the horrific injuries to Decedent Bobbi Kristina Brown on public television” and “fully and freely discusses the version of the facts and circumstances which gave rise to this litigation.”

Pat Houston

Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law and manager, Pat Houston was appointed administrator of the multi-million dollar trust fund that the late singer set up in Bobbi Kristina’s name. Leery of Bobbi Kristina’s relationship with Nick Gordon, she secured a restraining order against him in 2014. Houston was instrumental in orchestrating funeral arrangements, including the touching pink-hued tribute, and the decision to bar Gordon from the funeral.

In November, Houston revealed that Bobbi Kristina was headed to rehab shortly before her death to get clean from drugs. “I decided she was going to rehab because that’s where we had called to set up for her to go,” she told PEOPLE. “She didn’t make it.” Earlier this year, Bobbi Kristina’s conservator filed a lawsuit against Pat and Cissy Houston citing breach of trust” for failing to pay the expenses incurred by running her estate – including the wrongful death civil case against Nick Gordon.

Max Lomas

Bobbi Kristina s friend, roommate and former lover was also the man who found her unconscious body in the bathtub. He kept quiet about the heartbreaking discovery for nearly a year before speaking out to PEOPLE in early July about that terrible night. Over the course of the revealing interview, Lomas claimed that relations between Bobbi Kristina and Gordon had grown extremely strained and fraught with accusations of infidelity “Things were shaky. They were just trying to stay out of each other’s way, he said.

Lomas also maintains that substance abuse played a major role in their relationship. “We were all pretty bad into drugs,” he admitted. Perhaps most damaging, he accused Gordon of becoming abusive towards Brown – charges which Gordon’s lawyers have vehemently denied, contesting all of Lomas’ claims and calling him “a drug addict. in a statement to PEOPLE.

Cissy Houston

After paying her respects at Bobbi Kristina s wake and funeral, Houston mourned the loss of both her daughter and granddaughter in private. However, in June she spoke out against Bobby Brown s bombshell 20/20 interview detailing his tumultuous marriage to Whitney Houston. “I am deeply disappointed that this interview to promote the story of Bobby’s life seemed to be more of an expose on Whitney’s life,” she said in a lengthy statement to PEOPLE. “My problem with Bobby has always been that he became her husband but not her helpmate or protector.”

Mason Whitaker

A close friend of both Nick Gordon and Bobbi Kristina Brown since grade school, Whitaker expressed his grief to PEOPLE in January – one year after she slipped into her coma. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and the amazing influence she had on my life,” Whitaker said. “Her vibrant spirit will live on forever. It devastates me to think the world won’t be able to experience the amazing person she was.” Whitaker lived with Gordon and Bobbi Kristina for a year, moving out of their Alpharetta, Georgia, residence two months before she was found unconscious. The home where they once lived was sold in February.

Whitney Houston

The late singing legend is still making headlines, even four years after her tragic death at age 48. Some of Houston’s personal effects went on the auction block last June, giving fans the chance to own a piece of music history. Among the items were Houston’s first and last passports, her note-filled copy of the Waiting To Exhale script, the one-of-a-kind Marc Bouwer wedding gown worn to her 1992 nuptials with Bobby Brown, and a clutch of awards.

“We felt that it was time to give something of Whitney to the people who loved her and her music,” said Pat Houston, who arranged the auction, in a statement, “and, conversely, who Whitney loved back with all of her heart and soul.” The auction netted nearly $500,000 – a portion of which will go to a charity of the Houston family’s choice.