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Roberts, now 62, retains his Welsh lilt and speaks in slow, measured tones.
He has a fatherly air at odds with his toughness, although the latter is evident in the prominent scar on his head acquired while defending Houston during a fight between her brother, Michael, and a gang of racist thugs in Kentucky.
In February 1988, he was asked by the American embassy to look after Whitney Houston during a forthcoming visit to London. Their first encounter was at Heathrow airport, where she was arriving on Concorde.
She was surrounded by a huge entourage – including her friend and rumoured lesbian lover Robyn Crawford – and Roberts was introduced to her only briefly.‘Because I’d done my job – with the benefit of local knowledge – the former FBI security guy who was looking after her hired me to continue providing security for the whole of her British tour, followed by her European tour, and then as director of security on a Far East tour.’‘I asked if I could help him and he said he was Bobby Brown and that he had an invitation to come to the party.
‘The crowds were already arriving, but she cancelled the show.
We had to find a doctor to say she had lost her voice, and then arrange a private jet.
I couldn’t retrieve it, so we had to take her to a dentist to get it fixed. We had a bond.‘On tour, she’d push little notes under my hotel room door, messages saying thank you.
She was unhappy; there wasn’t the same laughter there had been.’After starting their romance in the early 1990s, Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston (left) fell into the habit of binge-drinking and drug-taking.
It has been the painful and very public unravelling of an American Dream.
Millions of fans around the world watched appalled as Whitney Houston, the ultimate diva of her generation, descended into the chaotic ravages of drug abuse and then, eventually, death at 48.
Later in the evening, I saw him dancing with Whitney in a way they would call dancing but other people might describe as sexual assault.
And that was it.’‘It wasn’t a job, it was a vocation,’ he says.