TROUBLED diva Whitney Houston secretly paid a $400,000 ransom demand to kidnappers who threatened to kill her ex-husband Bobby Brown, a bombshell new book claims
Brown was snatched and held “naked and hog tied” at gunpoint by members of a notorious New York street gang known as the Preacher Crew, according to author David Collins.
He was later allowed to make one phone call to Whitney, in which he pleaded with her to personally deliver the ransom to an abandoned building in the Bronx.
Disguised in a wig and dark glasses, the terrified singer obeyed, and handed over a duffle bag containing the cash 24 hours later to 6ft 7in gang boss Clarence “Preacher” Heatley, says Collins.
He claims the kidnapping, which was never reported to police, happened in April 1993 when Whitney was at the peak of her fame with her film The Bodyguard and its soundtrack album, both huge hits. Unlike the movie, however, in which Kevin Costner co-starred as her heroic minder, Whitney was forced to face her then husband’s kidnappers alone to hand over the ransom before they were both allowed to walk away free.
autobiography, Preacher of the Streets, that Brown was snatched over a $25,000 debt to a New Jersey drug dealer. Heatley, currently serving life without parole after admitting being involved in 13 gang-related killings, allegedly paid the dealer and “took over the debt”.
Heatley – described by Collins as an eighteen-and-a-half stone “mountain of evil” – then told gang members he had a plan “to make a whole lot more than $25,000”. His henchmen were sent to a Manhattan nightclub, where they allegedly plied Brown with high-grade cocaine, later luring him to a Bronx apartment with the promise of more.
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