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Fact Check: Bobby Brown Was Kidnapped Over Debt, Whitney Houston Paid $400,000 Ransom To Save His Life

Fact Check: Bobby Brown Was Kidnapped Over Debt, Whitney Houston Paid $400,000 Ransom To Save His Life

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FILE - In this March 25, 2001 file photo, Bobby Brown and his then wife Whitney Houston arrive at Vanity Fair's Oscar party in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)

Pop diva Whitney Houston and R&B superstar Bobby Brown were married from 1992 to 2007. While their relationship was reportedly full of turbulence and drug abuse by both parties, until they divorced, they appeared to be a ride-or-die couple. 

And, according to one rumor, Houston bailed Brown out when he was kidnapped by drug dealers over a major debt. While the rumor has not been fully substantiated, it did make its way into an autobiography by former gang member David Collins entitled “Preacher of the Streets.”

According to the story, Houston secretly paid a $400,000 ransom demand to kidnappers who threatened to kill her Brown, Express reported.

“It was April 1993. Whitney’s movie ‘The Bodyguard’ and the movie’s album were big hits,” said Collins, The National Enquirer reported.

Collins writes in his book that Brown was grabbed and held “naked and hog-tied” at gunpoint by members of a notorious New York City street gang known as the Preacher Crew. He was reportedly tortured for two hours. Houston, disguised in a wig and dark glasses, allegedly delivered the ransom in a duffel bag to an abandoned building in the Bronx.

Collins claims the kidnapping was never reported to police and happened in April 1993.

Brown owed more than $25,000 to a New Jersey drug dealer, according to Collins, who goes into detail about the kidnapping. The gang lured Brown to a Manhattan nightclub, where they allegedly plied Brown with high-grade cocaine. They later enticed him to a Bronx apartment with the promise of more. There, he was “knocked out with one punch” by one of the kidnappers, wrote Collins.

“When he awoke, Bobby was naked and hog-tied, his mouth stuffed with a rag,” wrote Collins.

After the $400,000 was paid, Brown was released.

Collins said he spent many years as a member of the Preacher Crew. 

Spokespeople for both Whitney and Brown refused to discuss the kidnap allegations with Express.

FILE – In this March 25, 2001 file photo, Bobby Brown and his then wife Whitney Houston arrive at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party in Los Angeles. Brown’s daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown is one of the toughest moments his biopic explores in “The Bobby Brown Story,” airing on BET in September. The miniseries details the rise of Brown who was considered one of R&B’s “bad boys” after his highly-publicized drug use and tumultuous marriage with Houston. (AP Photo/Laura Rauch, File)