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Bobby Brown Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Showtime, BBC Over Whitney Houston Documentary

Bobby Brown has accused the two networks, along with three production companies, of using footage of him and his children — including the late Bobbi Kristina Brown — in the 2017 documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me” without his consent.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Bobby Brown appears to have a major bone to pick with Showtime and BBC.

The New Edition star filed a lawsuit suit in New York District Court’s southern district against both networks this week, accusing them of including footage of him and his children in a 2017 documentary about his late ex-wife, music icon Whitney Houston, without his permission, Deadline reports.

The artist, along with the estate of his late daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, who died in 2015, are listed in the suit as plaintiffs, while BBC, Showtime and production companies Passion Pictures Corp, B2 Entertainment and Simmons Shelley Entertainment are named as defendants in the suit. Brown is reportedly seeking upwards of $2 million in damages.

The film in question, “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” features video footage of Bobby Brown and Bobbi Kristina Brown that the two “never consented to have released,” according to court documents uploaded by Deadline.

Brown has accused Showtime, BBC and the film’s producers of “[violating his] rights to publicity and privacy” and “using the life, image, name and likeness of [Bobbi Kristina] for financial gain in violation of rights of the estate of [Bobbi Kristina].”

Both father and daughter were featured in the film “in excess of 30 minutes,” the suit claims.

Bobby Brown’s other children — Landon Brown, Robert “Bobby” Brown Jr. and LaPrincia Brown — were also featured in the film, even though Bobby Brown alleges that he did not consent to have footage of his children, who are minors, included in the documentary. Similarly, he says that footage from his Bravo reality series “Being Bobby Brown” was also included in the film without his permission.

"The footage was actually recorded prior to the divorce in 2007 between Brown and Houston," the document says. "Brown never signed or executed a release for the airing of the material that appears in the film. The footage of Brown is approximately fifteen (15) years old... Assuming that Plaintiff[s] have proper title to the footage, they do not have proper title to its contents."

The suit also accuses the companies, which it says “are keenly aware that intellectual property about the Plaintiffs and Houston are very valuable and of interest to the public,” of airing the film “all over the world” and licensing it to international companies without Brown or Bobbi Kristina’s approval, despite the fact that Brown's entertainment company is listed in the credits of the film.

“[Brown] is an international superstar. The use of [Brown’s] name and likeness has caused confusion as the origin of the movie and suggests that Brown supports, approved and consented to the Defendants’ film,” Brown’s suit reads.

Showtime declined to provide comment to neither Deadline nor Variety about the lawsuit.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

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