‘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,’ singer says in a statement.
By Sowmya Krishnamurthy, with additional reporting by Rebecca Thomas
Bobby Brown did not attend the funeral services of his ex-wife, singer Whitney Houston, in Newark, New Jersey on Saturday (February 18). Brown arrived and left after a disagreement with security over his seating inside the New Hope Baptist Church, a source confirmed to MTV News.
In a statement released to the press by his rep, Brown explained, “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 continue to ask us and no one else to move.
“Security then prevented me from attempting to see my daughter Bobbi-Kristina,” the singer continued. “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. My children are completely distraught over the events. This was a day to honor Whitney. I doubt Whitney would have wanted this to occur. I will continue to pay my respects to my ex-wife the best way I know how.”
Whitney Houston’s funeral, or Home-Going, was held on Saturday at noon, and the Reverend Al Sharpton, who was also in attendance, weighed in on Brown’s arrival and departure in a series of tweets.
“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!” Sharpton wrote a little after 1:15 p.m.
In a subsequent tweet, the MSNBC personality pleaded on behalf of Brown’s case. “We are out of the service. I don’t want anyone distorting Bobby Brown. He has shown love and respect today. Stop hatin’ ”
The traditional Baptist ceremony was a celebration of Houston’s life, rooted in the church and her New Jersey upbringing.
An array of family friends, including Dionne Warwick, BeBe & CeCe Winans along with luminaries like Clive Davis, Stevie Wonder and Kevin Costner, who starred with Houston in the 1992 hit film “The Bodyguard,” spoke and performed. Among the others in attendance were actor/producer Tyler Perry and Mariah Carey, who shared the 1998 duet “When You Believe” with Whitney.