Whitney Houston's Funeral: Bobby Brown Denies He's Shut Out, Sources Say

Good Morning America


 

As plans for are being finalized for a scaled-down funeral for Whitney Houston, ex-husband Bobby Brown denied claims that he was getting the cold shoulder from Houston's family as he tried to stand by his daughter's side.

Bobbi Kristina Brown, Brown and Houston's only child together, was twice hospitalized for stress and anxiety after her mother was found dead in a bathtub Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Bobbi Kristina had been in L.A. with her mother to attend pre-Grammy festivities. Her father flew to California to be with his daughter Sunday.

The 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina was believed to be in New Jersey with her mother's family, but Bobby Brown's camp said she was still in California with her father and other siblings.

"My daughter Bobbi Kristina is doing much better," her father said Tuesday evening in a written statement. "We continue to provide love and support to Bobbi Kristina. She is dealing with the tragedy of her mother's death and would prefer to do it outside of the public eye. I ask again that our privacy be respected."

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Bobby Brown, who canceled his reunion tour with his group New Edition to be with Bobbi Kristina, has five other children from other relationships.

Reports of tension between Bobby Brown and his ex-wife's family about attending Houston's funeral, scheduled for Saturday, were inaccurate, a source close to Bobby Brown told ABC News. TMZ reported Tuesday evening that Brown was being frozen out of attending the service by some of Whitney Houston's family members, but the source told ABC News that Brown had been contacted about going.


Calls made by ABC News to Houston's family were not immediately returned.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston Through the Years

Houston will be laid to rest after a private, invitation-only funeral service in New Jersey on Saturday that will not take place at the Prudential Center arena, the owner of the funeral home making her arrangements announced today.

"Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark," Carolyn Wigham, the owner of the Wigham Funeral Home, told reporters today. New Hope is the same church where Houston honed her powerful voice in the choir.

On the family's 2005 reality-TV show, "Being Bobby Brown," it was Bobbi Kristina Brown who often acted more like the parent in the often erratic relationship between her mother and father. Sources close to the family said that Houston's well-known battles with addiction were also a heavy burden for her daughter to bear.

"It's very common, when a parent has an addiction, for the child to be parentalized," Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of HLN's "Dr. Drew," told ABC News. "It's almost a survival mode to try to control and maintain that addictive parent safely, the child takes on the role of parent or parents."

Drew said Brown should be careful about how she handles the inevitable fallout from her mother's death.

"When people are stressed, when they turn to substances, is when they can turn the switch on for addiction," he said. "That is my greatest fear for Bobbi Kristina."

Mother and daughter had begun working together on songs in the recording studio, according to Us Weekly.

Since her death, Houston's record sales have gone through the roof, with her signature hit, a cover of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" from "The Bodyguard" soundtrack, sitting at the top of the iTunes charts. Her daughter stands to rake in a significant amount of money from this posthumous sales boom.

"Bobbi Kristina can expect as much as $10 million in the next two years. She's going to have money coming in from the singles, money coming in from album sales. Whitney Houston has a movie coming out this summer," a source told ABC News.

Banks recently tried to foreclose on at least two of Houston's homes, ABC News has learned, but a source familiar with Houston's financial situation told ABC News that "she was far from broke."

Singer's Doctors to Be Questioned About Sedative Prescriptions

Investigators will be looking into the doctors who wrote multiple sedative prescriptions for Houston as they try to determine the cause of the pop superstar's death.

Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Assistant Chief Ed Winter told ABC News the office was "conducting an investigation and will try to obtain medical records from her doctors."

The coroner said Sunday the autopsy on the singer was complete but results would not be finalized pending toxicology reports, which could take up to eight weeks.

Prescription drugs were found near Houston's body, and photographs published by TMZ showed bottles of champagne and beer in the adjacent room and on the floor next to the tub where her body was found.

Investigators will subpoena the doctors in the next few days, as well as pharmacies that filled the prescriptions, The Los Angeles Times reported.

ABC News' Dean Schabner, Eileen Murphy and Luchina Fisher contributed to this report.

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