Sunday, February 19, 2012

Business as usual then? Bobby Brown hits a casino after tearing up the stage on the day of ex-wife Whitney Houston's funeral

By Jade Watkins and Holly Thomas

Long day: Bobby Brown was spotted in the Moehegan Sun Casino hours after performing with New Edition on the evening of his ex-wife Whitney Hoston's funeral

He caused controversy when he stormed out of his ex-wife Whitney Houston's funeral yesterday, only to appear for a performance on stage only hours later.

But it appears that public opinion clearly remains a low priority for Bobby Brown.

The 46-year-old singer hit the Moehegan Sun Casino at 2am this morning, after his show with New Edition ended at 10pm.

He had earlier stormed out of his ex-wife Whitney Houston's funeral following a reported dispute over seating arrangements and not being allowed to be with his daughter Bobbi Kristina.

Company not welcome: Bobby didn't look happy to have been spotted out and about

Bobby had reportedly been chatting with some unknown female strangers and was followed up an escalator by friends and fans.

His large entourage together with the surrounding cameramen apparently made for a considerable crowd, and an on duty Coneticut police officer was called over when Bobby's people objected to being followed by the photographers.

According to the singer he left the service after kissing the casket of his ex-wife because 'he refused to make a scene'

Drew a crowd: Bobby was surrounded by curious onlookers as he made his way through the casino at around 2am

Just hours later Brown appeared upbeat as he performed onstage with his New Edition bandmates to a 7,000-strong sell out crowd at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The former rapper was seen onstage wearing a white tuxedo jacket, matching white shirt underneath a black satin vest, and black trousers.

His outfit was a far-cry different from the all-black mourning attire he had worn to attend Houston's funeral hours earlier.

Disagreement: An on duty Coneticut police officer reportedly intervened when an argument between Bobby's entourage and onlookers became out of hand

Brown appeared in good spirits as he sang to the crowd, smiling at times and pulling quirky expressions.

He also did several energetic dance moves alongside his fellow New Edition members.

Brown arrived onstage a reported 10 minutes late after his band already started the performance, according to USA Today.

Back onstage: Bobby performed in a concert in Connecticut just hours after storming out of his ex-wife Whitney Houston's funeral

During the fourth track he was said to have strode up to the stage to cheers from the audience and addressed the crowd.

'I want to give blessings to my ex-wife, Whitney Houston, I love you. I want to give blessings to my kids, my fiancée (Alicia Etheridge), my brothers, and each of you,' he said.

Before launching into his track Hit Me Off, he added: 'And if you didn't already know, I go by the name of bad a** Bobby Brown.'

Holding it together: Brown appeared in good spirits as he sang to the crowd, smiling at times and pulling quirky expressions

After singing several of his famous songs including My Prerogative, he once again referred to Houston's tragic passing.

'I lost three great people in my life in the last year, but nothing makes me happier than to be here with you,' he said.

Some concertgoers believed that Brown's onstage appearance so soon after today's funeral was insensitive.

Smiling: The former rapper was seen onstage wearing a white tuxedo jacket, matching white shirt underneath a black satin vest and black trousers

Tribute: During his band's fourth track he strode up to the stage to cheers from the audience and addressed the crowd giving a tribute to his former wife

'I grew up on New Edition, and want to see how Bobby responds,' William McGarrah told USA Today. '(It was) a little insensitive, and (it) shows how much he needs the money. I thought he would take time off to be with his daughter.'

Brown it appears spent very little time with his daughter Bobbi Kristina today during and following the funeral for her mother.

He had left the service early after an alleged altercation with security over seating.

Pulling a crowd: Brown performed to a 7,000 strong sold out audience

Brown was cheered by fans as he arrived at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey, but according to a mourner at the service, family became 'frustrated' inside.

TMZ reported he became angry after the Houston family refused to seat his entourage of nine people. He had apparently been invited with a plus two.

Insiders told the website Brown wanted to sit with Bobbi Kristina on the front row - but he wasn't allowed.

Driven off: Earlier in the day Brown was seen leaving Houston's funeral shortly after arriving. He stormed out after becoming 'frustrated' over seating arrangements and wanted to sit in the front row with daughter Bobbi Kristina

Sombre: Brown, pictured outside the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, says he left because he was moved three times by security inside the church and was refused permission to see daughter Bobbi Kristina

Brown has since released a statement, explaining his abrupt departure, saying he was moved by security three times.

In a statement put out by his representative, he said: '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,' he said.

Comfort: Brown was seen outside of the church being comforted by a member of his entourage

The statement went on: '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.

'My children are completely distraught over the events. This was a day to honour 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.'

A mourner told the MailOnline: 'He was frustrated about something, maybe somebody said something to him or he was in a mood.'

Emotional time: Bobby and Whitney divorced in 2007. They had one child together during their marriage, daughter Bobbi Kristina

Meanwhile, the outspoken Reverend Al Sharpton revealed he had spoken to Brown in an attempt to calm him down.

He tweeted: '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!'

He later spoke to reporters, sticking up for Brown.

Comfort: The singer was seen talking to friends outside the church

'He showed nothing but love and respect for Whitney. I wish people would leave Bobby alone,' he said.

Meanwhile Reverend Jesse Jackson told CNN reporters that Brown's daughter Bobbi Kristina and Houston's mother Cissy weren't aware of the fracas and did not see it happen from the two rows in front of Brown's designated seat.

Jackson, who was seated on stage throughout the service and saw the incident occur, said he believed that the situation 'could have been handled better.'

Send off: Houston's coffin is carried out of the church by pall bearers and loaded into the gold-coloured hearse

Early reports suggested Brown, who became divorced from Whitney in 2007, was denied entry to the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.

Shortly after the service began he was seen leaving the church with a grim expression on his face accompanied by a female companion.

They stood outside for a few moments before getting in to a waiting SUV and drove off.

Brown, who Houston's family blamed for her drug addiction, had reportedly been invited after her family put aside their differences and begrudgingly said he could come.

Moments after the drama singer Stevie Wonder arrived and was led up the church steps and through the front door.

As Brown was waiting outside the church an unidentified man stood next to him crying uncontrollably.

Brown himself appeared to be wiping away a tear as he got into his car.

Live coverage from inside Houston's funeral showed her daughter Bobbi Kristina and mother Cissy sitting on the front row.

They were yards away from Whitney's flower drenched coffin, which took centre stage on the very alter where she sang as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey.



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