Rumors are swirling this week about Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of the late Whitney Houston, and the "secret boyfriend" she's been seen about town with lately. Earlier in the week, Brown was caught on camera holding hands and kissing her mysterious companion in Atlanta. Now, TMZ is reporting the 19-year-old is wearing what appears to be an engagement ring.Making the story even more titillating is the identity of the young man in question. Multiple sources have identified him as 22-year-old Nick Gordon--a friend of Brown's who was informally adopted by Houston 10 years ago, and whom Brown refers to as her "big brudder."SDFL/Splash News
Allegedly, Gordon, who came from a troubled family, planned to join the army after high school to escape his home. Brown appealed to her mother, who agreed to take him in. Gordon then reportedly took on the status of "man of the house" in the absence of Brown's father and Houston's ex, Bobby Brown.
Houston's brother, Michael Houston, told ABC News that Gordon was "like a son to her"; while Gordon himself noted on his Twitter account that Houston called him her godson.
Despite the closeness, there's no blood relation here, of course. However, many are finding the pair's relationship to be controversial nevertheless. Adding to the whole matter is the speed at which the couple's relationship appears to have accelerated.
Gordon told ABC News on Wednesday morning that he and Brown are not dating--in fact, they were simply leaning on each other in order to deal with the grief of Houston's death. However, he tweeted the following: "Yeah, we got a little closer and what!!!...All the haters that don't know us or the real story can't unfollow me. I don't give a f---. I've proved my loyalty to her and the Houston family. I don't owe any of you anything."
Looking back at Brown's own Twitter account, it seems that her relationship with Gordon may have turned romantic much earlier than anyone realized. In early November of last year, she tweeted: "I love sleeping with big brudder (: only person that helps my insomnia!!"
However, Brown did not mention Gordon at all during her first interview after her mother's death, which she gave to Oprah Winfrey. "I'm doing as good as I possibly can," she said. "Just trying to keep going."
While public interest remains mainly focused on Houston's cause of death, interest in Brown and Gordon's relationship has started to spark questions online. Queries such as "who is nick gordon" and "bobbi kristina dating brother" are rising in searches on Yahoo!