Family rift mars Bobbi Kristina’s funeral

Underlying family tensions surfaced publicly Saturday during the Alpharetta funeral for Bobbi Kristina Brown, daughter of the late singer Whitney Houston.

Leolah Brown, a sister of Bobbi Kristina’s father, singer Bobby Brown, exited early from the nearly three-hour funeral service at St. James United Methodist Church. TMZ reported that media mogul and close family friend Tyler Perry escorted her out.

Leolah Brown approached about 50 media representatives cordoned off on Webb Bridge Road and said she had a beef with Patricia Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law, who lives in Alpharetta. During the ceremony, Brown said, she interrupted Pat Houston while she was speaking, saying something along the lines of “Whitney is going to haunt you from the grave!”

“It was wonderful until Pat started speaking, and I didn’t like that,” Brown said. “I walked out.”

The Browns and Houstons have been battling for months since Bobbi Kristina was found unconscious in a bathtub and fell into a coma. The 22-year-old died July 26 after months of hospitalization, then hospice care.

Whitney Houston died in a hotel bathtub in early 2012. The coroner in Los Angeles deemed it an accidental drowning, but heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors.

In past media interviews, Leolah Brown has said she believes Pat Houston is taking advantage of the dual tragedies for personal financial gain.

“It’s not over,” she said Saturday. “It’s just begun.”

Notable attendees at the service included rhythm and blues singer Monica and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Bobby Brown also was spotted.

About 50 to 60 fans and onlookers showed up.

Maria Corkern, an elementary school teacher, planted herself in a chair to watch the proceedings.

“I’m a huge R&B fan,” Corkern said. “And I have a 23-year-old daughter, so my heart goes out to this family. Aside from the media circus, someone is burying their daughter today, and I can’t imagine that.”

Artelia Martin of Atlanta drove up to Alpharetta to pay her respects. “I feel like she’s at peace,” Martin said of Bobbi Kristina. “She’s with her mom.”

As an airline customer service agent, Martin said she got to escort Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown and Bobbi Kristina Brown several times through the airport. “They were very nice,” she said.

The families held a wake Friday at Murray Brothers Funeral Home, which reportedly was attended by Whitney's mother, Cissy Houston, and Bobby Brown.

Various news reports said Bobbi Kristina’s body is going to be flown to New Jersey for a burial service Monday. She will be buried next to her mother, the reports said.