The civil suit seeking $40 million in damages was filed in June by Bobbi Kristina’s estate.
In the latest development, Gordon filed a motion to delay the suit, pending a criminal investigation into Bobbi Kristina’s death. Gordon has been named as a “person of interest.” He has yet to be declared a suspect.
Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious Jan. 31, face down in a tub of water at her Atlanta-area home. She died July 26, after spending weeks comatose on life support.
An amended complaint filed in August by the estate lays out detailed allegations. It claims Gordon beat and drugged Whitney Houston’s only daughter and placed her in the tub unconscious in a fit of jealous rage.
Gordon says Bobbi Kristina’s dad, Bobby Brown, and his family have done everything the can to vilify him.
The Brown family accused him of being a “murderer, a habitual batterer of women, a seducer of young white females, a thief and/or con man fueled by monetary gain and a chemist capable of making a toxic cocktail,” according to court papers obtained by gossip site TMZ.
The characterizations, Gordon asserts, will make it impossible to receive a fair trial should he be charged with murder.
He also wants to delay the civil suit to avoid being compelled to give a legal deposition. It would require him answer questions about events leading up to Bobbi Kristina’s death. Anything, he says, could be used against him in a criminal proceeding.
So while he insists he’s innocent, he still wants to preserve his Constitutional right against self-incrimination. If his assertions seem to contradict his actions, well, they do.
But the tactic is pretty standard in situations like this, according to our own legal sources. It all comes down to a matter of procedure and evidence. Most civil suits for wrongful death are filed after criminal proceedings are finished.
Even if Gordon is tried and acquitted of her murder, he could still be found liable for her death in a civil suit because the legal definition of guilt is different.
In a criminal case, he would have to be found guilty “beyond a reasonable” doubt; in a civil case he could be found guilty based on a “preponderance of the evidence.”
In one of the most storied examples of the dual legal standard, O.J. Simpson was acquitted of murdering ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. But he was held liable for their murders in a civil suit filed by the Brown and Goldman families.
For the latest developments in the case, be sure to follow IM on Twitter.