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WHITNEY CAUGHT WITH POT STASH AT AIRPORT; Star flees police.

SUPERSTAR Whitney Houston fled after security guards at an airport allegedly found half an ounce of marijuana in her bag.

The 36-year-old singer simply abandoned her purse and stormed off with her husband, rap star Bobby Brown.

The guards did not have the power to arrest her and by the time police turned up her scheduled flight for San Francisco had taken off from Hawaii's Kona airport.

The Grammy-winning singer faces immediate arrest if she returns. Under Hawaii state law, she faces up to 30 days in jail and a pounds 600 fine if the substance in her bag was marijuana.

The incident last week marred a romantic holiday break for the couple.

Lieutenant Robert Hickcox, of the Hawaii vice squad, warned that the singer could be charged in her absence if the substance found by the private airport security guards proved to be dope.

He said: "It has been sent away for analysis and a report will be submitted to the district attorney."

He explained that the airport guards can only arrest passengers for airport security crime.

A spokeswoman for Houston, star of film Waiting To Exhale, declined to comment on the incident yesterday.

But by fleeing, it looks as if Houston will escape the scandal of a damaging court appearance.

Hawaiian County prosecutor Jay Kimura said it was unlikely she will be brought back to Hawaii from the mainland USA to be tried in court. He added: "The Governor will not extradite for a non-felony."

Instead, prosecutors have a year to decide if Houston should be charged.

Alternatively, under a new law, Houston could answer the allegation from another US state through her attorneys and never go to court.Before they fled Hawaii, Houston and Brown had been entertaining guests at the Four Seasons Hotel with their bizarre antics.

On one occasion, Houston performed a jerky dance routine as Brown watched from his car.

Another time, after a blistering argument, Brown begged for forgiveness in a parking lot with his head bowed.

It is not the first time Houston and Brown, who have a stormy marriage, have been in trouble with the law in Hawaii.

In 1997, police were called after Brown allegedly slapped her face as she stepped out of a limo.

Houston is one of the world's most successful singers having sold millions of records and has also starred in Hollywood hits like The Bodyguard.

She's just been nominated this month for four Grammy awards for her latest album, My Love is Your Love.

But two years ago the singer wept in court in Florida when her husband was jailed for five days for drink- driving.

Brown was also ordered to attend a drugs and booze clinic, and appear in TV anti-drug announcements.

Three years earlier, he was accused of assaulting a woman but the charges were dropped.

However, despite his violence, womanising and drinking, Whitney, who has a young daughter to Brown, has stuck by him.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 18, 2000
Words:491
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