Singer Bobby Brown made a brief and dramatic appearance at ex-wife Whitney Houston’s memorial service on Saturday, leaving abruptly after being told that his entourage couldn’t sit together, police sources said.
He arrived with several people and was apparently emotionally distraught, with red eyes and head hanging as he walked up the aisle of the church. He approached Houston’s casket, passed it and went back down the aisle.
According to sources, Bobby Brown was accompanied by 9 people, including several of his other children. Reportedly, he was only supposed to bring 3 people to the invitation-only funeral service.
Brown was shown standing out front of the church soon after the service began. He was not seated with family, friends or other celebrities at the front of the church.
After leaving, Bobby issued this statement:
“My children and I were invited to the funeral of my ex-wife Whitney Houston. We were seated by security and then subsequently asked to move on three separate occasions. I fail to understand why security treated my family this way and continued to ask us and no one else to move. Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter Bobbi Kristina. In light of the events, I gave a kiss to the casket of my ex-wife and departed as I refused to create a scene. … I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know how.”
Describing what happened at the service, Rev. Al Sharpton posted on his Twitter account: “I am at Whitney’s funeral. I spoke with Bobby Brown trying to calm him down and not distract from the services. Today is about Whitney.”
Brown performed later Saturday with his group, New Edition, in Connecticut.
“I want to give blessings to my ex-wife. Whitney Houston, I love you,” he told the audience.
Brown considers performing as therapy to get him through a difficult time, a source close to him said earlier this week.
He and Houston were married from 1992 until 2007, with Houston getting sole custody of their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, when they divorced. Their daughter was born in 1993.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, reports begin to surface about Houston’s struggles with drug addiction, health problems and her rocky marriage with Brown. Her album sales dropped, and her voice began to show signs of wear.
In a now-infamous interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer in 2002, Houston admitted using drugs, but denied using crack. “Crack is whack,” she said, quoting a line from a mural painted in 1986. In the same interview, Houston said, “The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy.”
In 2004, filming began on the short-lived reality show “Being Bobby Brown.” “The show aired during the worst years of the couple’s crumbling marriage: drug use, lifestyle excess and bad behavior were all caught on tape, and Houston’s reputation sunk to new lows,” according to Biography.com. Houston later said she did the show to try to save her marriage.