'I kissed the casket and departed': Bobby Brown in funeral seating row

Bobby Brown "kissed" Whitney Houston's coffin as he left her funeral early after being told he couldn't sit next to his daughter.

The Two Can Play That Game singer was reported to have been ejected from the service for his late ex-wife - who was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room last weekend - following a row over his entourage, but he insists he made the decision to leave following frustrations over the seating arrangements.

Bobby's 18-year-old daughter with Whitney, Bobbi Kristina, was seated at the front of the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey with her grandmother Cissy Houston and he was unhappy he was unable to be with her.

The 43-year-old singer - who has four other kids from different relationships - said in a statement: "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 continued to ask us 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 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."

Mourners at the funeral said the clearly-distraught star - who married Whitney in 1992 and divorced in 2007 - spent 15 minutes by her casket before leaving the service.

One onlooker told Usmagazine.com: "He was allowed to go in, pay his respects and then he had to leave. He was red-eyed going up to the casket and then left. He was there for 15 minutes."

Meanwhile, Houston is being buried today at the cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey where her father was interred in 2003.

Onlookers were gathering along the route to her gravesite as the police-escorted motorcade headed toward it and the hearse carrying her casket entered the cemetery.

TMZ.com reported that 10 security guards are keeping watch over the coffin, but immediate family members will be allowed to see her for the last time before she is finally laid to rest.

- BANG! Showbiz with AP

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