New York: Whitney Houston’s funeral home owner says that she’s “horrified” by accusations that her close-knit staff is to blame for the infamous photos published in the National Enquirer, which show the singer in her casket.
Carolyn Whigham, CEO of the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, New Jersey, said that she wants fans to know her family-run business did not sell the images.
“We did not take that photo. We did not sell the photo. We would never do something like that,” the New York Daily News quoted her as saying.
“Whitney was a friend… I’m the one who flew to Los Angeles and got Whitney from the coroner’s office. I did everything to protect her,” she said.
A deluge of distressing emails from irate fans now has her fearing for her staff’s safety.
“One email said that if the person owned a dog, and the dog died, they would not come to my funeral home.
“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 said.
Whigham said Houston’s family has made it clear they do not blame her business.
“I am very confident they are on the same page with me. Family friend Tyler Perry was on the Steve Harvey (radio) show this morning, and he said emphatically he knows we did not do it,” she said.
She also revealed that security was with Houston the entire time her body was at the funeral home.
“They were there 24 hours a day. They slept there with her. She was never alone, anywhere.
“The only time security fell back was when the family had the private viewing Friday. We weren’t involved with that. The family invited its own guests,” she said.
The shocking National Enquirer cover photo shows Houston lying in a half-opened casket wearing a deep purple dress, a sparkling brooch on her chest and what appear to be diamond earrings.
Whigham disputed the supermarket tabloid’s claim that Houston was buried with 500,000 dollars worth of precious stones.
“That’s crazy. It’s not true,” she said.