LOS ANGELES – Some of Whitney Houston's fans took out their anger at her ex-husband Bobby Brown on social media after hearing the news of her death on Saturday.
“I will always love Whitney. I will always loathe Bobby Brown,” one wrote on Facebook.
“Bobby Brown you took our diva and turned her into an addict,” another fumed.
Friends and fans of the late singer have long blamed Brown for damaging Houston both professionally and personally.
“I think that if you look at the arc of Whitney’s career the problems definitely seemed to creep into her music career and her personal life when she got together with Bobby Brown,” said M. Tye Colmer the editor of Billboard.com. “If you look a those moments there is definitely a connection that turned out to be very self-destructive. Even after she and Bobby divorced, she was never able to escape the problems she faced with Bobby.”
Brown was reportedly beside himself with grief on Saturday night, relatives told People magazine. He was allegedly having crying fits as he prepared to perform with his band New Edition in Mississippi.
Brown skipped the first song of the concert, but appeared onstage for the second. He shouted, "I love you, Whitney. The hardest thing for me to do is to come on this stage." He then blew a kiss to the sky with visibly teary eyes.
Later in the concert Bobby Brown appeared emotionally overcome as his group performed a ballad. When the song began, he joined in but his voice cracked and he walked off stage. The concert ended soon afterward.
Brown and Houston met in 1989 at the Soul Train Awards. They married in 1992 and divorced in 2007. During the marriage, Brown was arrested on drug and alcohol charges, and Houston went into rehab twice.
In a 2009 interview with Oprah Winfrey Houston admitted to taking drugs, including cocaine and marijuana, with Brown, and claimed that the New Edition singer was abusive to her and at one point spit on her during their marriage.
"He was my drug," Houston told Winfrey of her ex-husband. "I didn't do anything without him. I wasn't getting high by myself. It was me and him together. We were partners."
"I was so weak to him," Houston said. "I was so weak to the love.
Addiction experts say that a volatile relationship can drive someone with addictive tendencies into a spiral of continued self-abuse.
“A volatile relationship can serve as a trigger, especially if they argue a lot or if there is a tumultuous relationship," explained addiction specialist Dr. Harris Stratyner, the regional clinical Vice President of Caron Treatment Center. "Addicted individuals look for reasons to use. So, if they fight a lot or disagree the addicted individual is going to go out and use.”
Straytner does not treat either party, but stressed that a spouse can enable an addicted person, particularly if they have a relationship like Brown and Houston’s where they fight and reconcile in a vicious cycle.
“Like many addicts Whitney and Bobby rode high highs and low lows, both as a married couple and as two people who enabled each other's addictions,” explained relationship expert and author of “Cult of Celebrity” Cooper Lawrence. “It seems they had nothing but trouble—separately and together. Trouble followed them.”
The Associated Press and Newscore contributed to this report.