Whitney Houston's alleged open casket photo, which was published on the front cover of the National Enquirer, has stirred controversy over the past few days as more and more people voice outrage over the sensationalism and disrespect exhibited by the tabloid.
Now, according to Extra TV, Whitney Houston's mother Cissy Houston is seeking an in-depth investigation to find out who snapped the picture.
My FOX Chicago reported that Cissy has requested for all those who attended the private viewing on Friday night before Houston's funeral to take a lie detector test. This request includes the staff of the Whigham Funeral Home.
However, the owners of Whigham Funeral Home vehemently deny taking and/or selling the photo. I'm going to answer you as the publicist told me to answer you: We have no comment. But it was not the funeral home, Carolyn Whigham told the Los Angeles Times. Whitney was a personal friend to me and my family. We would not do that.
FOX News's Judge Jeanine Pirro told Extra, They [Houston's family] could bring a lawsuit and go through depositions, but you can't force them to take a lie detector.
CNN host Piers Morgan added, I think you have to think very, very carefully about this. Obviously, newspapers do print pictures of dead bodies all the time, but this one was clearly, I guess, published without any permission.
Rumor has it that the open casket photo was sold to the National Enquirer for a six-figure amount.
On Wednesday, the National Enquirer published the infamous photo Whitney Houston lying in her open casket under the headline Whitney: The Last Photo! The cover photo depicts a deceased Houston wearing what the tabloid claims was her favorite purple dress and $500,000 worth of jewelry.
Although it has not yet been verified, the Whitney Houston open casket photo has sparked outrage not only from fans, but also in the media.
We're not the biggest fans of this kind of exploitation. In fact, we find it rather tasteless and crude. But, we're also not foolish enough to think that there aren't those of you out there who are morbidly curious. If that is the case, then we invite you to pick up the new issue of National Enquirer. We warn you though--it's really unsettling and not for the faint of heart, wrote celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.
Don't hate the National Enquirer for publishing Whitney Houston casket photo, hate on the family member/friend who sold it, tweeted PhillyGossip.
Was the photo authorized by someone in the Houston family? The L.A. Times said that this seems doubtful since the family purposefully planned a private ceremony on Friday at Whigham Funeral Home to keep out the prying eyes of the media.
According to the newspaper, the media is dubbing the photos unverified. The photo has not been certified as legitimate and many continue to note that it does not carry the name of any one photographer.
However, The L.A. Times stated that the Houston family has not yet come out to say that the photo is phony. Therefore, until that happens, the photo will be accepted as authentic.
If the photo was not authorized, then someone exploited the Houston family for a shot at some cash. Magazine photo editors who spoke to FOX News stated that the casket photo could have been purchased for a six-figure price.
Some pointed fingers at Houston's ex-husband Bobby Brown's sister, Tina Brown, shot the photo. The tabloid will likely never disclose its source, the Web site The Improper wrote, but it probably paid a pretty penny for the photo. Since it also has a two part interview with Bobby Brown's sister Tina in the paper as well, she is the prime suspect.