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Allegation clouds Bobby Brown’s plan for domestic violence shelter

The singer wants to build the not-for-profit Bobbi Kristina Brown Serenity House in Georgia.

Singer Bobby Brown plans to build a shelter for domestic violence victims in honour of his late daughter despite allegations that he once hit his ex-wife Whitney Houston.

Brown has received a proclamation from South Fulton mayor Bill Edwards and other officials acknowledging his plans to build the not-for-profit Bobbi Kristina Brown Serenity House.

The shelter in Georgia will also offer a 24-hour crisis intervention line and an emergency transitional shelter.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, 22, was found unresponsive in a bath in 2015 and died after six months in a coma.

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Whitney Houston, left, and daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown in 2011 (Dan Steinberg/AP)

Her estate sued her boyfriend, Nick Gordon, for wrongful death, accusing him of assault and other offences.

A lawyer for Gordon called the charges baseless, but after he failed to defend himself in the civil case, a judge ruled against him in 2016 and ordered him to pay 36 million dollars (£27 million).

Houston, who was Bobbi Kristina Brown’s mother, died in 2012 after she drowned in a bath. Coroner’s officials ruled her death accidental and said heart disease and cocaine were contributing factors.

Last week, Brown said he still struggles with their deaths. He denied that his tumultuous marriage to Houston ever turned violent, despite a 2016 interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts in which Brown said he once hit her.

Asked again about the allegations involving Houston, Brown did not answer directly, but described his own childhood experiences of domestic violence.

“I grew up in a domestic violence home,” he said. “I’ve seen it firsthand. It stopped after my mum was not going to have it any more. They both would do it to each other.

“I’m happy that part of my life is over. I’m ready to move on. I’m becoming a better man, father and brother. This is all about being there for someone else, so they won’t have to go through it by themselves.”

Houston called police just outside Atlanta in December 2003 to report that Brown had threatened to beat her and then hit her in the face, leaving her with a bruised cheek and a cut inside her lip.

Brown described the incident as a “little spat”, saying the two were playfully “slap boxing” before Houston took one of his jabs a “little serious”.

A judge in May 2004 ruled there was enough evidence for Brown to stand trial on misdemeanour battery charges and set a deadline about two months later for Brown to turn himself over to authorities for fingerprinting.

An Associated Press report from the time said Brown and Houston exchanged smiles during the hearing and left the courtroom arm-in-arm.

Brown turned himself in on July 11 2004, a few hours before the court-imposed deadline, and was released after posting a 2,000-dollar (£1,500) bond.

A notice from Fulton County solicitor general’s office said the case was dismissed in December 2005. The reason prosecutors gave was: “Unable to contact the victim.”

Brown says he blames Gordon for his daughter’s death.

Gordon was accused of domestic abuse earlier this year after his girlfriend said he struck her in the face several times.

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