Just hours after watching an emotionally charged tribute to her doting mother, Whitney Houston, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown decided she needed some time alone. So while friends and family convened at a local eatery in Newark, N.J., to remember the 48-year-old musical legend, Bobbi Kristina simply disappeared.
As Houston’s body was set to be transported to the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J., for burial Sunday morning, her family was in full panic mode trying to find the 18-year-old, who suffered at least two emotional breakdowns last week after the sudden death of her mother Feb. 11, according to two sources who spoke to The Daily Beast and are in close communication with Bobbi Kristina’s family.
“Everyone was freaking out and calling Bobbi Kristina’s cell,” said one source, a longtime family friend. “It was so much commotion and activity after the funeral that Bobbi Kristina just slipped away. Ms. Cissy [Houston, Whitney’s mother] was beside herself.”
"There was some confusion about Bobbi Kristina’s whereabouts last night for a short time, but she's OK,” a Houston family spokesperson told The Daily Beast. “She needed some time alone.” The spokesperson says Bobbi Kristina isn’t on drugs and is just emotionally fragile at this time. “She is going through a very hard time, as you can expect.”
The only child of Houston and singer Bobby Brown became the center of attention last week after her mother’s body was found underwater in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles. Since she is the product of two admitted drug users, family members worry Bobbi Kristina is already too familiar with the vices and demons that most likely led to her mother’s untimely death.
“Cissy and others won’t admit out loud that Bobbi Kristina has a drug problem,” said the family friend. “But they know it and have been trying to keep her straight even before Whitney passed. But losing your mother and the life you’re accustomed to all in one day is enough to send anybody off the deep end.”
Even before the funeral was held Saturday, the family had serious discussions about Bobbi Kristina entering into rehab as soon as her mother was laid to rest, according to multiple sources familiar with the conversations. They say she spent the night after her mother’s death using drugs to dull the pain.
Bobbi Kristina entered rehab for a drug problem early last year, says one of the family friends who spoke to The Daily Beast, a longtime associate of the family. (The Houston family spokesperson would not comment on this matter.)
Bobbi Kristina arrived in New Jersey shortly before her mother’s body was flown in last week and was said to be coping better in the days before funeral. “She had the people she loved and love her the most around,” one of the sources told The Daily Beast. “Ms. Cissy was holding on tight and watching her every move.”
Still, things fell apart again for the teenager at the actual funeral service when her father Bobby Brown attempted to enter with nine other people. Security allowed them in but seated the group separately and wouldn’t allow him to see Bobbi Kristina. Brown caused a scene complaining.
“That was just too much for Bobbi Kristina to handle,” says another source at the funeral who witnessed the conversation and saw Bobbi Kristina was visibly upset. “All that drama, and Cissy finally asked him to come in and stay, but Bobby wouldn’t. Cissy only did that to help Bobbi Kristina, because Cissy cannot stand Bobby. She just didn’t want a big drama with him on that day of all days.”
The family friend added that Houston would have indeed wanted Brown and his family to attend the funeral and would want Bobbi Kristina to grow closer to her father. Houston financially supported most of Brown’s family for the duration of their marriage. After the couple divorced in 2007, Brown moved on, became engaged, and had another child.
“That hurt Bobbi Kristina, and you know it hurt Whitney,” said the source. “Bobbi Kristina saw her father keep it moving and leave them behind. Whitney had accepted it to some extent, but Bobbi K. is still so angry and was angry before her mom died.”
Several hours after the funeral, Bobbi Kristina was found at a hotel “getting high,” according to one source who was with the family when they received the news. A second source was told of the event from a member of the family. (The Houston spokesperson denied the incident occurred.) Some family members wanted to whisk the aspiring singer to rehab last night, while others fought for her to stay to see her mother buried this morning.
“It’s a horrible situation for everybody,” says the close family friend. “They tried to save Whitney, and it didn’t work. Now with Bobbi Kristina, they fear the same thing is happening again and they won’t be able to stop it either. Bobbi Kristina is all Ms. Cissy has left of Whitney. She’s so tired, but she’s ready to fight again to save her grandbaby.”
Those close to the family say they expect Bobbi Kristina to be flown to a California rehab facility as soon as burial services are over.