Nick Gordon, Bobbi Kristina Brown’s partner when she was found unresponsive at their home in January 2015, has been ordered by a judge to pay more than $36 million in damages after being found liable in a wrongful death suit, her estate’s lawyers said in a statement Thursday.
Gordon was not present in an Atlanta courtroom Thursday as the judge set his penalty, the Associated Press reported. He hasn’t had legal representation since November 2015 and had been skipping court appearances, including the one in September where the estate won the case by default as the allegations were admitted by omission.
“I am pleased with the outcome of today’s court proceedings,” Bobby Brown — father of the late Whitney Houston’s only child — said in a separate statement Thursday. “I do know that Mr. Gordon will be unable to slander my daughter’s name in the future or obtain any benefits from the use of Krissy’s name.”
The entertainer, who was added as a plaintiff in the case in May, was among those who testified before the judge set damages in the case first filed by his daughter’s estate during the six months in 2015 she was in a coma before her death that July.
Bobby Brown told the court that Bobbi Kristina had unlimited earning potential at the time of her death, according to TMZ. The $36.25 million award included $15 million for loss of life and potential future income and $13 million for pain and suffering, the website said.
“We intend to pursue, with all vigor, the full collection of the judgment,” said R. David Ware, one of the attorneys representing the estate.
Gordon "gave Bobbi Kristina a toxic cocktail rendering her unconscious and then put her face down in a tub of cold water causing her to suffer brain damage," said the lawsuit, which originally sought $10 million in damages and alleged among other things that Gordon had assaulted her and maneuvered himself into a boyfriend role so he could take her money.
After Bobbi Kristina’s death, the allegation of wrongful death was added and the request for damages was upped to $50 million.
No criminal charges have been filed against Gordon, who was raised by Whitney Houston as an unofficially adopted brother to Bobbi Kristina; they became romantically involved in the wake of Houston’s 2012 death.
Gordon did a stint in rehab in March 2015 after behaving erratically on an episode of the “Dr. Phil” where he was to have talked about Bobbi Kristina’s death. That April, he sat down again with Dr. Phil McGraw, laughed off the civil case and the dollar amount that it sought, and dismissed the notion that he’d given his girlfriend a “toxic cocktail.”
“Think about how far-fetched and ludicrous that sounds,” Gordon told McGraw. “That’s just stupid.”
An autopsy of Bobbi Kristina Brown found drugs in her system but labeled her cause of death “undetermined.”
Dontaye Carter, a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, told the AP in an email Thursday that Bobbi Kristina’s death was still under investigation.
“I do need for the District Attorney’s Office to step up and begin the criminal prosecution of Mr. Gordon,” Bobby Brown said in his statement. “The delay in that matter is of great concern to me and my family.”
Follow Christie D’Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ.