May 25, 2012 at 10:29 AM ET
Underscoring all of the tributes to Whitney Houston and the concerns about Bobby Brown's role in her life lies the big elephant in the room: Their shared drug usage. Brown, along with three of his grown children -- Landon, LaPrincia and Bobby Brown Jr. -- and his fiancee/manager Alicia Etheridge, sat down with TODAY's Matt Lauer to talk about the role drugs had in not just his life, but the lives of his offspring as they grew up.
What may surprise many, though, is that his children say they were largely unaware and unaffected by any drug usage going on around them. (Brown's only child with Houston, Bobbi Kristina, was not included in the interview; these children are from other relationships.)
"Are you talking about drugs?" LaPrincia asked when Lauer asked about whether they witnessed dysfunction between Brown and Houston. "I never in my life ever seen that."
"I heard a lot of stuff in the media when I was younger, and I was completely oblivious to that," said Landon, who recalled he lived for a time at Brown and Houston's home. "I didn't know anything was going on."
But when media reports became too pervasive to ignore, LaPrincia recalled how Brown sat down with her.
"He didn't tell me exactly what drug he might have been doing ... but he did let me know that it was something that he was in the wrong for, that he had done, and he was going to try and get better," she said. "And that's all you can really hope for."
Lauer noted that many worry about Bobby Brown and whether he's really as cleaned up, sober and evolved as he claims -- but his children aren't concerned.
"I don't have any fears," said Bobby Brown Jr. "My father is a very strong man.... He's progressed so much."
Noted Brown Sr., "I'm extremely proud of my kids.... It's my legacy, it's what makes me work harder every day to be better."
Bobby Brown will appear live on the TODAY Plaza for a special Memorial Day concert on May 28.