Whitney Houston allegedly paid a $400,000 (£270,920) ransom to kidnappers who were threatening to kill her ex-husband Bobby Brown, according to a sensational new book.

Houston and Brown divorced in 2007 after nearly 15 years of marriage and their union was plagued with rumours of drug problems.

They came to an agreement. She was personally going to bring $400,000 to get her man back. The next day, she did just that. She was wearing a wig

In his autobiography, Preacher of the Streets, former gang member David Collins claims Brown was snatched over a $25,000 debt to a drug dealer, and held bound and gagged at gunpoint by members of a New York street gang known as the Preacher Crew.

Collins alleges the fearsome group decided to extort more money than was owed, and Brown was allowed to call Houston who delivered $400,000 (£270,920) in exchange for the safe return of her husband.

Collins writes, "They came to an agreement. She was personally going to bring $400,000 to get her man back. The next day, she did just that. She was wearing a wig".

The alleged event took place in April 1993 - at the peak of Houston's fame.

The kidnapping was never reported to the police, and representatives for both Houston and Brown refused to discuss the claims.