Photo Credit: NBC; WireImage
Even though they had been divorced for six years by the time Whitney Houston passed away, Bobby Brown still holds her very close to his heart. In an interview that aired Wednesday morning on Today, the 43-year-old R&B singer opened up about his ex for the first time since her tragic Feb. 11 death.
"Our relationship was great. I had 14 beautiful, beautiful years with that woman," he told Matt Lauer in the pre-taped segment. "I can honestly say that I love that woman with -- with everything that I am. And I believe she loved me the same way." (Watch the interview below.)
While he denies that he was responsible for Whitney's death, Brown does wonder whether he could have somehow prevented his ex-wife's shocking death at the age of 48.
"I coulda done something different, you know to -- ensure that she had a longer life," he said. "But... you have to want it, you know?"
And even though he's soon to be married again, Brown says Houston will always have a special place in his heart.
"My fiancee knows how I felt about that woman," Brown says. "My kids know how I feel... how I felt about Whitney. It's not a secret, you know? I was in love with her deeply."
In an excerpt from the interview released Monday, Brown said that he never used serious drugs before he met Houston, implying that she was the one that got him into them.
"I didn't get high before I met Whitney," Brown claims. "I smoked weed, I drank the beer, but no, I wasn't the one that got Whitney on drugs at all."
The "My Prerogative" singer has steered clear of drugs ever since he saw the effect they have on him when his reality show Being Bobby Brown aired in 2005. He said that he was "hurt" when he found out Houston -- who said she was sober since 2009 -- had cocaine in her system at the time of her death.
"Me being off of narcotics for the last seven years, I felt that she was, you know, I didn't know she was struggling with it still. But at the same time, you know, listen, it's a hard fight. It's a hard fight to, you know, maintain sobriety that way," he said, adding that she "looked really well" when he saw her the week before her death.
Today will air a second interview tomorrow featuring Brown's fiancé Alicia Etheridge and his three oldest children: Landon, Bobby Jr. and La'Princia. Noticeably absent from that lineup is his daughter with Houston, Bobbi Kristina.