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WHITNEY Houston's troubled ex-husband, Bobby Brown, left the late singer's elaborate memorial service in Newark, N.J., just minutes before it began on Saturday, storming out of the New Hope Baptist Church looking visibly upset.
Brown turned up at the church shortly before noon with an entourage of about nine people, according to The Star-Ledger. When the New Edition singer tried to seat them all in the section reserved for Houston's family, he was told they had to leave, but he could stay.
Brown left with the others but was stopped outside the church by the Rev. Al Sharpton, who later tweeted, "I spoke with Bobby Brown trying to calm him down and not distract from the services. Today is about Whitney!"
Brown later explained his early exit in a statement released by a representative.
"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," Brown said in the statement, adding security did not ask anyone 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. 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."
Bobbi Kristina, 18, was sitting in a front pew and was unaware during the ceremony of her father's departure, Radar Online reported.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said Brown's seating "could have been handled better."
Houston's friend and lawyer Bryan Blaney told Radar Online, "I saw Bobby leave, and I didn't know what was going on at the time. All I knew is that one moment he was there, and the next minute he was leaving with a lot of people."
After being informed of Brown's statement, he added, "That is truly so very sad. I don't want people to focus on what happened with him today."