BOBBY BROWN MELTDOWN -- WAS IT THE CLAMS?

Published on: January 23, 2003

Whitney Houston's bad-boy hubby Bobby Brown suffered a bizarre meltdown at a Miami Beach restaurant, alternately sobbing and hitting on a hostess -- and stunning eyewitnesses with a clam-spitting spectacle.

Clam-spitting?

"He was crazy!" a source at the restaurant declared.

The R&B star recently stumbled into World Pie, an Italian restaurant in South Beach, and was joined at the bar by several members of his entourage, the source disclosed.

"It seemed like a reunion of some sort. At first I thought it was strange when Bobby only ordered a 7 UP."

But things got even stranger when the singer was approached by one of the men in his posse and he broke down in tears.

"All of a sudden he is sobbing and crying," said the source. "It was a bizarre sight.

"After sitting down to order some food, Brown wiped away his tears and took complete control of the situation. He wouldn't let anyone else at his table order anything."

Brown proceeded to order two orders of clams on the half shell, two orders of baked clams, a chicken sandwich, a clam pizza and salmon.

"His jaws were going a mile a minute, his eyes were fluttering and he seemed absolutely out of his mind," said the source.

Unable to sit still long enough to wait for his food, fidgety Brown fled to the bathroom.

"He gets back from the bathroom and the food comes out," the source said. "Then he turns to the guy next to him and asks angrily, 'Who ordered all this food?'"

Although Brown had no recollection of ordering the food, he had no trouble tearing into it, said the source.

"I've never seen someone eat like that before. He was in the throes of a feeding frenzy, biting into everything frenetically, polishing off the clams and then ordering a dozen more."

Suddenly Brown -- with his mouth full of littleneck clams -- broke out into song, singing along with the restaurant's sound system!

"All the restaurant staff were watching him in astonishment, trying to avoid the fallout from the clam juice that was spraying from his mouth," said the source. "There was clam juice everywhere. It was nasty!"

Two members of his entourage got up and fled to the bar, where the source said one whispered to the other: "I don't care what you do to get him off this, but you have to get him on the plane. And they won't let him on the plane like this."

After the clams, the next attraction to catch Bobby's eye was the restaurant's gorgeous hostess.

"He asked me what I was doing later and I told him I was working," the appalled hostess told the source.

"He says, 'No, I mean what are you doing after work?' I told him it was my daughter's birthday and he says that it's his daughter's birthday, too, so why don't we just get together so we can party?

"I said no, and for the rest of the night I had to hide from him!"

More trouble loomed ahead for Bobby: On January 17, he was sentenced to eight days in jail and two years' probation after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge in Georgia.