A Tuesday report on the celebrity news site TMZ.com indicated that the hotel's room 434, where Whitney Houston died tragically on Saturday, had already been rented out, just three days after she was found dead in the bathtub there.
You had asked me to advise on the TMZ report about the 434 suite being sold, Simonetti said. The room was not rented, it is not rented, and it will not be rented in the foreseeable future.
The hotel, located in Beverly Hills, Calif., came under fire Tuesday after TMZ printed its report, which cited a hotel reservations agent who claimed that the $375/night suite where the 48-year-old singer was found dead in a bathtub Saturday morning was already back on the market for hotel visitors, and that it was being actively courted by people who want to visit the scene on their own.
TMZ went on to write that the room was booked for the foreseeable future.
TMZ updated its story after it was initially posted, adding the following clarification:
The Beverly Hilton's publicist is now saying Whitney's room is not available yet -- which is a different story than a reservations agent and the Executive assistant to the manager told us. They both said the room is being rented out and is currently occupied.
Whitney Houston, one of history's all-time best-selling musicians, was pronounced dead on Saturday at 3:55 p.m. PT. The newest news reports indicate that the singer likely died of a combination of drugs and alcohol. Initially, her cause of death was rumored to be drowning, as the singer was found in the bathtub of her hotel room. However, there was reportedly not enough water in the tub for the singer to drown.
A toxicology report and official autopsy may not be available for the next six to eight weeks. Houston's last meal included room-service, champagne and Heineken. Empty medicine bottles were found her hotel room, along with pills like Xanax and ibuprofen.
Whitney Houston's private funeral is slated to take place Saturday in her hometown of Newark, N.J., at the New Hope Baptist Church, where Houston began her singing career at a young age. The funeral, which is invite-only, is being handled by Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, which also tended to the funeral affairs of Whitney Houston's father, John Houston.