While Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy, may not be angry at the Newark, N.J., funeral home who took care of her daughter's body, the singer's brother, Gary, said it was very intrusive and wicked that his sister's open casket photo was published on the cover of the National Enquirer.
Gary Houston opened up to talk show host Oprah Winfrey on Sunday, in the first interview for the family since the singer died on Feb. 11. In the interview, Gary and his wife, Patricia, said they aren't certain how the photo of Houston in her casket got leaked to the tabloid.
Tabloid, Patricia said, I hate that word. It's ugly.
I have no idea [how the picture was leaked], Patricia told Oprah, noting also that she was angry that the picture was printed.
For Gary, seeing a picture of his sister on the cover of the National Enquirer was personal.
I felt very, very violated, Gary Houston said. It was very intrusive and it was very wicked.
Houston died in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11. A cause of death has not yet been established. She was 48 years old. Her funeral service was held in New Jersey on Feb. 18 and she was buried the following day.
Less than a week after Houston's funeral and burial, an open casket photo of the singer was published on the front page of the National Enquirer. The tabloid didn't reveal how it got a hold of the photo, but it was reported that they paid six figures for the last photo of Houston.
On its cover, the National Enquirer stated that the photo was taken inside Houston's private viewing and that the singer was buried in her favorite purple dress. The singer also reportedly had gold slippers on her feet and was allegedly buried in $500,000 worth of jewelry, according to the National Enquirer.
Mary Beth Wright, publisher of the National Enquirer, told Fox News that the last photo of singer Whitney Houston in her casket is beautiful.
Since the release of the casket photo, the Whigham Funeral Home has come under attack.
The Whigham Funeral Home has been threatened, Rev. Ronald L. Slaughter, a spokesman for the funeral home, told NBC. They have received vicious and hateful emails and other terrible acts, based on these baseless rumors.
The funeral home's owner, Carolyn Whigham, has said that during the funeral preparation only three staff members had access to Houston's body and that it was heavily guarded by security chosen by the family.
Whigham claims that the photo was taken the Friday, before Houston's funeral. However, she is yet to say how she arrived at that conclusion.
Still Whigham said she fears for her safety and that of her family.
I want to clear my name, I want to clear my funeral home, Whigham said. I want to defend my character and my name.
Watch the interview below: