Bobby Brown: 'I'm Saddened' by Divorce

Brown speaks out for the first time since Whitney Houston filed for divorce

Commenting for the first time about his split from Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown tells PEOPLE, “I’m really saddened by the whole situation.”

Brown spoke to PEOPLE on his cell phone from Boston, where he’d flown in from Los Angeles to celebrate the 17th birthday of his eldest daughter, Laprincia (with ex-girlfriend Kim Ward).

He also caught a Mike Epps show with a group of pals at Boston’s Comedy Connection on Sunday night. A source tells PEOPLE that Brown seemed to be in good spirits, mingling with the crowd of 500 and taking a picture with Epps after the show.

Meanwhile, Houston has been keeping company with her old friend, mentor and producer, Clive Davis, with whom she attended the Ella Awards last week. The pair are also working toward a new project for Houston, Davis tells PEOPLE.

“We’re continuing to select material for her album,” says Davis. “We’re all excited because, after all, everyone in our industry knows that she and Aretha (Franklin) are the best singers in the world today.”

Houston, 43, filed for legal separation from Brown, 39, on Sept. 8. However, her rep, Nancy Seltzer, told PEOPLE, “We’re saying she filed for divorce because that is her intent.”

Houston and Brown were married for 14 years and have one daughter, Bobbi Kristina, 13. Divorce proceedings are expected to begin next month.

In her filing, Houston reportedly asked that she get custody of Bobbi Kristina and that Brown be allowed visitation rights.

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