Thursday, February 23, 2012

National Enquirer publishes photo of Whitney Houston's body in an open casket

WESTFIELD, NJ - FEBRUARY 19:  A hearse carrying Whitney Houston's body arrives to the Fairview Cemetery on February 19, 2012 in Westfield, New Jersey. Whitney Houston was found dead in her hotel room at The Beverly Hilton hotel on February 11, 2012.  (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)

Whitney Houston fans expressed shock and outrage Wednesday after the National Enquirer printed an image of the iconic singer in an open casket on its cover.

The morbid photo, purportedly taken inside the family's private viewing at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., last Friday, shows Houston's body lying in her half-opened, polished bronze casket.

It shows the dead pop star wearing what looks like a purple dress along with a brooch pinned to her chest and an earing sparkling in her ear.

The headline claims she was buried wearing $500,000 worth of jewels and gold slippers on her feet.

Facebook and Twitter users lashed out at the tabloid, calling the move trashy and shameful.

"MADD at who ever sold Whitney Houston's pic of her in a casket," reality star Evelyn Lozada, from VH1's "Basketball Wives," wrote on Twitter.

"Whoever sold the photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin to the National Enquirer is a vile, twisted, evil and unscrupulous sub-human," London-based fan Christiana Mbakwe tweeted.

Even celebrity blogger Perez Hilton called it a "tasteless, insensitive, morbid thing to do" on his eponymous website.

Of course, the death photo is hardly without precedent. The National Enquirer famously ran a photo of Elvis in his coffin in 1977.

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