Conservatorship and Financial Abuse: Bobbi Kristina Brown Update

Last month a conservatorship was obtained over Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22 year old daughter of Whitney Houston. This month, on June 24th, a lawsuit was filed against Nick Gordon by the conservator, alleging serious abuse against Bobbi Kristina. A conservatorship over another person allows one full legal power to act on their behalf. In the lawsuit, Nick Gordon is accused of multiple counts of physical abuse - including punching Kristina, dragging her up stairs by her hair, and knocking out a tooth. He is also accused of serious financial abuse. Subsequent to Bobbi Kristina inheriting a large sum of money (likely from her mother Whitney Houston), Nick Gordon assumed the role of Bobbi Kristina's husband, whereby he took control of her life, reportedly limiting her social interactions, answering her cell phone,  and manipulating her bank accounts. Legally however, the two were never actually married. 

The lawsuit also details how in April 2014, a trustee of Ms. Brown's trust filed a restraining order against Gordon. He allegedly threatened the trustee with guns and violence over concerns regarding Kristina's access to trust funds. 

Early this year, Brown was reported to have told someone that Nick Gordon was not who she thought he was, and had set up a time to meet January 31st. That was the day that Kristina was found unconscious in here bathtub with a swollen mouth and missing tooth. Just prior to this, Gordon and Brown had gotten in an argument. 

Brown has been in a coma since that day, and her conservator, Bedelia Hargrove reported that after making no improvements in her condition, she has been moved to hospice care. 

In a statement to the press, Hargrove said:

"Today I filed a lawsuit on behalf of Bobbi Kristina Brown. I filed this lawsuit to pursue justice on behalf of Bobbi Kristina Brown. No human being, male or female, should endure what Bobbi Kristina endured.Pat Houston and Bobby Brown have done all they can to take care of Bobbi Kristina since this terrible tragedy occurred. I have worked closely with both of them and we all want the very best for Bobbi Kristina. This lawsuit represents our collective efforts to get justice for Bobbi Kristina.We pray that justice will be done for her and that it will be swift."

As a conservatorship and financial elder abuse attorney in Contra Costa County, I have personally never witnessed abuse at this level. Unfotunately, however, conservatorships are often sought because someone is being financially or physically abused. In most cases, the abused person has also lost mental capacity and therefore is not capable of managing their own affairs. Financial and physical abuse is reprehensible when it occurs to a person of any age, but the fact that Kristina Brown will likely lose her life at such a young age because of it is a true tragedy.

If you believe someone you know is suffering from financial elder abuse or is no longer capable of managing their affairs, a conservatorship may be necessary. Contact an attorney to find out what your options are. At my Elder Law firm in Walnut Creek, I specialize in Conservatorships and Financial Elder Abuse, and offer a free consultation to discuss your matter.

To read more about the lawsuit:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2015/06/24/bobbi-kristina-nick-gordon-lawsuit/29233597/