A day before what would have been Bobbi Kristina Brown‘s 23rd birthday, a Georgia judge ruled on Thursday that her autopsy could be released to the public.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Henry M. Newkirk decided to lift the protective order at the request of local NBC affiliate 11Alive News, also known as WXIA-TV, reports The New York Daily News:
"Lawyers for the media company argued for access on First Amendment grounds, saying the public has a right to know what killed the only daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston and New Edition frontman Bobby Brown, WXIA-TV reported.
They reportedly referenced a dramatic rise in heroin use in the county and said that if Bobbi Kristina had heroin in her system at the start of her medical emergency, it would be in the public’s interest to know.
The 22-year-old Brown was found facedown and unresponsive in a bathtub on Jan. 31, 2015."
People Magazine is now reporting that Bobbi Kristina Brown died from a combination of drowning and drug intoxication:
"Released on what would have been Brown’s 23rd birthday, the statement sheds light on her condition when she was found unresponsive in her bathtub on Jan. 21, 2015. (Brown spent months in the hospital, a rehabilitation center and hospice care until she died on July 26.)"
Meanwhile, her boyfriend Nick Gordon, 20 – who was raised as Houston’s son, but never officially adopted – is in the midst of a legal battle with Brown’s family. A filing in a wrongful death lawsuit alleges Brown “died due to a violent altercation with Defendant (Gordon)” and that he “injected her with a toxic mixture” – claims that Gordon’s lawyers vehemently denied. In a statement to People last month, Gordon’s legal counsel said he continued to “grieve privately” and was “dehumanized by the fictitious allegations.”