Family mourns the late Bobbi Kristina at funeral
American R&B singer Bobby Brown emerged from the funeral of his daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, staring toward the ground before lifting his head up and briefly gazing at the sky.
Dressed in all black, the grieving Brown was one of the first to exit the tension-filled private service for Bobbi Kristina on Saturday at the St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, just north of Atlanta. Twenty-two-year-old Bobbi Kristina was the only child between Brown and the late megastar singer Whitney Houston.
Bobbi Kristina died in hospice care July 26, about six months after she was found face-down and unresponsive in a bathtub at her townhome.
Several celebrities showed up for the funeral including filmmaker Tyler Perry, Grammy-winning R&B singer Monica and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
In the middle of the service Bobby Brown’s sister Leolah Brown walked out of the church and spoke to reporters gathered outside. She said she was angry because Pat Houston was speaking at the funeral. Pat Houston is the sister-in-law and former manager for the late Whitney Houston.
“I told her that Whitney is going to haunt her from the grave,” Leolah Brown told reporters outside the church.
She suggested that the feud between the Houstons and the Browns was far from over.
“It’s just getting started,” she said before going back inside the church.
An email to the Houston family rep was not returned.
For years, there’s been a longstanding rift between the families of the young woman’s famous mother and father. Bobby Brown briefly appeared at Houston’s funeral three years ago, saying he and his children were seated but asked repeatedly to move. Brown said he left because he didn’t want to create a scene, but was upset.
Bobbi Kristina’s death was grimly similar to the way her mother had died three years earlier.
Houston’s assistant found the singer’s lifeless body face-down in a foot of water in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel just before the Grammy Awards in 2012. Authorities found prescription drugs in the suite, and evidence of heart disease and cocaine in her body, but determined her death was an accidental drowning.
Bobbi Kristina was found in the townhome she shared with Nick Gordon, an orphan three years older, whom Houston had raised as her own. Bobbi Kristina referred to him as her husband. A police report earlier this year described the incident as a drowning, and authorities are investigating her death.
Relations between Gordon and other relatives have soured over the past few years, especially after Bobbi Kristina was hospitalized. A protective order barred him from being within 60 meters of Pat Houston. And a feud erupted over whether Gordon could visit Bobbi Kristina while she stayed in the hospital.
R&B singer Bobby Brown hugs an unidentified woman after a funeral service for his daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, Saturday, Aug. 1.