Whitney Houston’s family made it clear her ex-husband Bobby Brown isn’t wanted at her funeral in New Jersey on Saturday, and shouldn’t attempt to attend, according to multiple reports. It looks like Brown got the message, as he's slated to perform with New Edition at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut at 8pm on Saturday.
Some grief experts say it could be the right move.
"By performing the night of the funeral, he may be dealing with his grief," said L.A psychologist, Dr. Nancy Irwin. "Again, maybe [their daughter] Bobbi Kristina prefers the comfort of others (her grandparents, aunts etc.) and maybe she blames her father for getting Whitney hooked in the first place. We do not know."
California-based attorney, David E. Wohl, adds that despite the tragic circumstances, Brown bowing out of his touring commitments could make for messy legal consequences.
“Assuming Brown is under contract from a concert promoter, which is a safe assumption, he will probably be held liable for any and all monetary losses suffered by the promoter because of the cancellations,” Wohl said. “This would include losses from advance ticket sales that had to be refunded and claims made by concert venues against Brown and his promoter."
Brown's availability to daughter Bobbi Kristina following Houston's death has been spotty.
Hours after Houston's lifeless body was pulled from he Beverly Hilton bathtub, Brown took to the stage for a New Edition concert in Mississippi. Brown sobbed and sang his way through the whopping four-and-a-half hour show, asking the audience to say a prayer for him, his daughter and her mother, blowing kisses to the skies and shouting “I love you, Whitney!”
Meanwhile, their 18-year-old daughter was being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital in a state of severe distress. It wasn’t until the following day that Brown got himself on an L.A.-bound airplane, skipping out on a New Edition concert in Nashville to do so.
According to some, now is the time for Brown to step up to the plate and be the best father possible, regardless of public opinion and financial consequences.
"This is the ripe opportunity for Bobby to take responsibility and be a father to Bobbi Kristina and to help and support her through her grieving. There is little that Bobby can do right now that will be perceived by the angry public as the right action on his part – doing nothing or performing makes him appear as cold, callous and selfish but, involving himself in his daughter’s life will also be condemned as potentially dangerous to her since he so many people blame him for Whitney’s death," said human behavior expert Patrick Wanis PhD. "I would tell him: Ignore the public, walk away from performing and devote all of your time, energy and soul to your daughter – redeem your past and heal your relationship with your daughter by seeking her forgiveness for your mistakes and wrongdoing; become the man that you never were before – become her tower of strength, protect her and give her renewed hope with unconditional love and support."
A rep for Brown did not respond to a request for comment.