Longstanding discord between the families of star singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown erupted again Saturday to mar the memorial service for their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta, Ga.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Bobby Brown’s sister, Leolah Brown, stalked out of the St. James United Methodist Church after Pat Houston, who was Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law and manager, had stepped to the dais to eulogize her niece.
Addressing the media crunch that had gathered outside the church during the private ceremony, Leolah Brown said that the funeral “was wonderful until Pat started speaking .… She is being the phony person that she is.” Brown added that she had yelled some parting words to her antagonist: “Whitney is going to haunt you from beyond the grave.”
On her Facebook page, Leolah Brown previously had voiced outrage over Pat Houston inviting Bobbi Kristina’s mourners to make donations in her memory to Houston’s North Carolina-based youth charity, the Marion P. Foundation.
Brown said that Pat Houston had not consulted her brother about the memorial plans, and decried the call for donations as “a scheme … for personal gain” on Houston’s part.
Bobbi Kristina Brown was 22 when she died July 26 after nearly six months in a coma; she had been found face down in a bathtub at the town home near Atlanta that she shared with Nick Gordon. He was a brotherlike figure when they were growing up together in Whitney Houston’s household; they later became romantically involved.
Plans call for Bobbi Kristina Brown to be buried Monday in a grave next to her mother in Westfield, N.J. Her parents divorced in 2007; Whitney Houston drowned in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in 2012 on the eve of the Grammy Awards. The post-mortem showed she had taken a large amount of cocaine.