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Billboard Report: Chris Brown is Struggling With Addiction and in a “Downward Spiral”

Chris Brown is in a “downward spiral” of drug abuse and destructive behavior, according to a new Billboard story about the troubled R&B star. Sourced from industry insiders and Brown’s former employees and associates, the story paints a picture of an artist continuing to sabotage his talent through substance abuse, anger, and obsession.

In 2014, after being released from jail for a probation violation, Brown was said to be off drugs and feeling better. In 2015, his team told Billboard, he broke sobriety; he now reportedly uses cocaine, lean, molly, and Xanax, passing out on his couch at night in a messy living room.

Former manager Michael “Mike G” Guirguis quit in May 2016 and is now suing the singer for allegedly beating him up in a “(drug-fueled) rage.” Brown’s publicist, Nicole Perna, quit the next month, and the story presents a celebrity who is verbally abusive to those he employs. Describing one day last year, Billboard’s Danielle Bacher writes:

A delivery man arrived and began ringing Brown’s doorbell. “Do your f—ing job!” barked Brown at one of his security guards, a hulking man who had been living for the past three-and-a-half years in the home. But the guard, who was off duty, was asleep, and his partner was outside. Like many other nights, the guard had stayed up late to check Brown’s pulse. The bell rang again — this time, it was a construction worker who had been employed at the house all week. Brown paced back and forth. Finally, he lost his temper. “I’m going to show you what it’s like not to work with Chris Brown for two weeks!” he shouted at the guards, kicking them both out of his house.

These days, Brown reportedly spends his time tracking the activity of his ex, Karrueche Tran, via Instagram, sparking a much-hyped and now-cancelled boxing match with Soulja Boy. Tran recently obtained a restraining order, saying Brown had threatened to kill her; yesterday, TMZ reported that a friend of Tran’s obtained a second restraining order based on additional death threats.

Meanwhile, Brown’s career is in limbo. He continues to score minor chart hits as a featured artist, but his next solo album, Heartbreak on a Full Moon, and a documentary, Welcome to My Life, were announced months ago and haven’t materialized. He is set to embark on a 33-date American tour at the end of this month, and though it may give him some structure, it was on his European tour last summer that things completely fell apart. Brown lost Perna and tour manager Nancy Ghosh, who Billboard reports quit because Brown threatened to beat her up after she asked one of his cousins to not smoke weed on her bus. Billboard quotes a team member who says:

“Once he did what he did to [Guirguis], there was no structure,” that former security team member says. “We had no manager telling us what to do or where we were going. He would make people sleep on the bus [instead of hotels] when he was mad at them. He was threatening people and cops. He was calling himself the devil.”

Brown’s label, RCA Records, nonetheless says it continues to support him.

Read Billboard’s full story here.