Whitney Houston is exposed for all to see in her coffin by a photo that graces the cover of the National Enquirer. The photograph apparently showing Whitney in her open coffin has been published and is already raising controversy. As everyone knows Whitney died in the bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel and her official cause of death has not been determined – although a combination of alcohol and Xanax is suspected.
The Herald Sun has the following breaking news: The chilling picture shows the singer lying dead in her golden casket, clad in a regal purple dress and wearing what looks like a diamond brooch and earrings.
The weekly magazine has run the snap alongside a bold headline proclaiming: “Whitney: The last photo!”
It is understood the photograph was taken inside the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, New Jersey, where her family attended a private wake last Friday (local time) on the eve of her funeral.
The magazine claims the photo was taken at the private viewing – although does not reveal who took the picture.
Carolyn Whigham, the owner of the Whigham Funeral Home, told MailOnline: “I have spoken with the family about this and they have asked me not to comment on the matter.”
Whitney – who died aged 48 on February 11 – was wearing jewels worth $500,000 and had gold slippers on her feet, according to the publication
The image – which was published in today’s edition – has stirred a strong reaction on Twitter, with people expressing their shock.
‘#wrong #rip,’ wrote one Twitter user named as The Bitter Critter.
Another user of the social networking site, Eric S Pittman, simply exclaimed ‘Oh dear’ while tweeter Peter Anthony Holder wrote: ‘No privacy for Whitney, even in death. As usual, the National Enquirer is a piece of work.’
The Washington Post’s Sarah Ann Hughes was not pleased: It’s not known how the Enquirer obtained the photo. Requests for comment from Houston’s publicist and Whigham Funeral Home have not been returned.
Even without verification, the photo is shocking and disturbing. But it’s not surprising that it has been published.
The Enquirer published a photo of Elvis Presley in his casket on its cover in 1977. The issue sold 6.5 million copies, according to the Sun-Sentinel. More recently, a photo of Michael Jackson’s lifeless body was shown during the trial of doctor Conrad Murray. It was then republished in the media.
In the opinion of this writer, a line has been crossed. It seems highly unethical to me to publish a photo of this nature in the first place, but especially without permission from the person’s family. That seems to be the consensus on Twitter, as well. But where should the line be drawn in the first place?
What is important here is not the photograph of Whitney’s corpse lying in her coffin. What matters is the tragedy she made of her great talent and potential for a wonderful life. Did The Enquirer go too far by publishing this death pic? What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.