The New Jersey funeral home responsible for Whitney Houston's body after her death, has denied allegations of leaking a photo of the singer in a casket.
A grainy photograph of Houston in a casket was published on the front page of the National Enquirer, sparking nationwide outrage. It is believed that the picture was taken inside the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark during the singer's private funeral on Feb. 18.
The owner of the funeral home, Carolyn Whigham, was horrified by the accusation, saying neither she nor her staff took photos of the body. We did not take that photo. We did not sell the photo. We would never do something like that, she told the New York Daily News.
Whigham explained that Houston was a good friend and she had a longstanding relationship with the singer.
'I'm the one who flew to Los Angeles and got Whitney from the coroner's office. I did everything to protect her,' she told the Daily News.
The National Enquirer ran the photo in their March issue with the headline, Whitney: The Last Photo. Also on the cover is a sub-headline that reads, Inside her private viewing, with the bullet points:
Buried in jewelry worth $500,000.
Wore her favorite purple dress
Had gold slippers on her feet
After the picture was published, Whigham received several threatening e-mails from irate Houston fans, and she is now worried for her own safety as well as her staff. One fan told her she wouldn't even send her dog to the funeral home if it died.
I'm worried about my employees, worried about me. I've been in business since 1943. This is my name, my character. Honestly, this is my life's work. We would never do something like this, she told the Daily News.
Houston's family is currently running investigations to find out who took the photo. It's apparent from the surroundings that it was taken in the funeral home.
Houston died on Feb. 11. Her body was found in a bathtub in a fifth-floor suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The cause of her death is unclear and is unlikely to be revealed any time soon. Coroner's officials have said they will not release the results of the singer's autopsy as police detectives continue to investigate the death. Multiple bottles of prescriptions