Bobby Brown Leaves Church Before Funeral

Update: He releases a statement about what happened before Whitney Houston's funeral.

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Bobby Brown (left) outside Houston's funeral (Getty)

Update as of 4:35 p.m. ET, February 18: ABC News' web site has published a statement released by a representative for Bobby Brown, which says, "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 continue to ask us and no one else 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 honor 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.”

Earlier:

Chermelle Edwards, The Root's photographer on the scene outside Whitney Houston's funeral in Newark, N.J., alerted us to this sad development. Here is NJ.com's account:

Bobby Brown, the ex-husband of Whitney Houston, left the New Hope Baptist Church just minutes before the funeral was to begin.

According to a person familiar with the situation, Brown brought an entourage of nine people with him to the Newark church and wanted them to sit with them in the family section.

"They were asked to leave," the person said, referring to the entourage. Brown was not asked to leave, but "he left with the other people," according to the person, who was not at liberty to discuss the situation publicly.

Brown appeared visibly upset as he left the church and got into a black Cadillac SUV.

Read more at NJ.com.

Later today we'll bring you images of the outpouring of love for the late Whitney Houston outside of New Hope Baptist Church in Newark. Check back on The Root for them.

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