As plans for are being finalized for a scaled-down funeral for Whitney Houston, ex-husband Bobby Brown denied claims that he was getting the cold shoulder from Houston’s family as he tries to stand by his daughter’s side.
Bobbi Kristina Brown, Brown and Houston’s only child together, was twice hospitalized for stress and anxiety after her mother was found dead in a bathtub Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Bobbi Kristina had been in L.A. with her mother to attend pre-Grammy festivities. Her father flew to California to be with his daughter Sunday.
Bobbi Kristina, 18, was believed to be in New Jersey with her mother’s family, but Bobby Brown’s camp said she was still in California with her father and other siblings.
“My daughter Bobbi Kristina is doing much better,” her father said Tuesday evening in a written statement. “We continue to provide love and support to Bobbi Kristina. She is dealing with the tragedy of her mother’s death and would prefer to do it outside of the public eye. I ask again that our privacy be respected.”
Bobby Brown, who canceled his reunion tour with his group New Edition to be with Bobbi Kristina, has five other children from other relationships.
Reports of tension between Bobby Brown and his ex-wife’s family about attending Houston’s funeral, scheduled for Saturday, were inaccurate, a source close to Bobby Brown told ABC News. TMZ reported Tuesday evening that Brown was being frozen out of attending the service by some of Whitney Houston’s family members, but the source told ABC News that Brown had been contacted about going.
Houston will be laid to rest after a private, invitation-only funeral service in New Jersey on Saturday that will not take place at the Prudential Center arena, the owner of the funeral home making her arrangements announced today.
“Whitney Houston’s funeral will be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark,” Carolyn Wigham, the owner of the Wigham Funeral Home, told reporters today. New Hope is the same church where Houston honed her powerful voice in the choir.
On the family’s 2005 reality-TV show, “Being Bobby Brown,” it was Bobbi Kristina Brown who often acted more like the parent in the often erratic relationship between her mother and father. Sources close to the family said that Houston’s well-known battles with addiction were also a heavy burden for her daughter to bear.
“It’s very common, when a parent has an addiction, for the child to be parentalized,” Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN’s “Dr. Drew,” told ABC News. “It’s almost a survival mode to try to control and maintain that addictive parent safely, the child takes on the role of parent or parents.”
Drew said Brown should be careful about how she handles the inevitable fallout from her mother’s death.
“When people are stressed, when they turn to substances, is when they can turn the switch on for addiction,” he said. “That is my greatest fear for Bobbi Kristina.”
Mother and daughter had begun working together on songs in the recording studio, according to Us Weekly.
“Bobbi Kristina can expect as much as $10 million in the next two years. She’s going to have money coming in from the singles, money coming in from album sales. Whitney Houston has a movie coming out this summer,” a source told ABC News.
Banks recently tried to foreclose on at least two of Houston’s homes, ABC News has learned, but a source familiar with Houston’s financial situation told ABC News that “she was far from broke.”
Investigators will be looking into the doctors who wrote multiple sedative prescriptions for Houston as they try to determine the cause of her death.
Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office Assistant Chief Ed Winter told reporters the office was “conducting an investigation and will try to obtain medical records from her doctors.”
The coroner said Sunday the autopsy on Whitney was complete but results would not be finalized pending toxicology reports, which could take up to eight weeks.
Prescription drugs were found near Houston’s body. Investigators will subpoena the doctors in the next few days, as well as pharmacies that filled the prescriptions, The Los Angeles Times reported.