Bobby Brown recently sat down with People ahead of his new A&E documentary ‘Biography: Bobby Brown’ and opened up about an experience he’s kept secret for over 40 years.
Brown, 53, grew up in a rough section of Boston and says that his first great loss was that of his innocence. In the documentary, he recalls being a young child and witnessing his mother being beaten and arrested by police after trying to intervene in the arrest of some neighbors.
In the aftermath, he says in the series, “I was sent to a temporary custody by social services which was supposed to be a religious place but it wasn’t a very nice place to be for a child. One of the priests tried to molest me. He tried to touch my private parts … At that time, I was a young boy. I didn’t know what sexual boundaries were. I just knew I didn’t like being touched. Some things are hard to forget.”
“That really, really bothered me as a child, and as a grown adult,” Brown tells PEOPLE of being touched inappropriately before fighting back and fleeing the religious facility. In hindsight, he says, “I think it was part of the reason I did things, other things, drugs, alcohol, why I abused myself.” (Brown has now been free of narcotics for 20 years.)
The star says he did not plan for the painful memory to surface. “I had tucked it down so deep into my soul that I didn’t think that I would talk about it again,” says Brown, who says as a kid he coped by embracing music and rebelling against all forms of authority.
Now that he’s sharing his story, he says “being able to talk about it and get it out helps.” Looking back, “I could see where things went wrong for me.” Brown adds that talking about it, “helped me get through a lot of other things that had been bothering me, especially that.”
Bobby has been through so much.