How Whitney Houston’s Coffin & Funeral Photo Was Leaked

Whitney Houston.

Getty Images Whitney Houston.

A photo of Whitney Houston in her casket at the funeral home that hosted her services was leaked to the public back in 2012. At the time, the National Enquirer put the photo on the cover of their magazine for the world to see.

There have been a few rumors about how the photo got out, but it seems that someone who was alone with Houston’s corpse snapped a pic and sold it to the tabloid.

Houston, who was found unresponsive in a bathtub inside her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel back on February 11, 2012, was seen wearing a purple dress and a pair of fancy earrings while lying in the casket. The Enquirer ran the headline, “Whitney: The Last Photo!” across the top of the controversial issue.

The singer and actress was face down in the tub, which was filled with water, and drug paraphernalia was found in the room. Her cause of death was accidental drowning, according to the coroner. Heart disease coupled with the drugs found in Houston’s system were also listed as contributing factors, according to the Washington Post.

The “I Will Always Love You” singer was 48-years-old at the time of her tragic death.

Here’s what you need to know:


The Owner of the Funeral Home Denied That She or Another Employee Leaked the Casket Photo


Whitney Houston: Funeral home owner denies leaking coffin photoThe owner of the Whigham Funeral Home, Carolyn Whigham, denies she or any of her staff leaked the photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin. . Report by Katie Lamborn. Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/theshowbiz411 and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/theshowbiz411 Test2012-03-02T10:09:23Z

After the photo was leaked to the Enquirer, all eyes were on the owner of the funeral home, Carolyn Whigham. Whigham denied having any involvement in the photo sale, and was adamant that none of her employees were to blame, either.

“I want to clear my name. I want to clear my funeral home because it doesn’t just affect us here,” Whigham said at a press conference. She also said that she had received threats over the leaked photo, according to the Washington Post.

Whigham, who was close to the Houston family, also said that she knew who leaked the photo. Two local pastors also said they knew who leaked the photo, but they did not disclose anyone’s name publicly.

“[It is] up to the Houston family to release the name,” Rev. Jethro James said.


A Friend of Houston’s Named Raffles van Exel Has Been Accused of Selling Photos of Houston’s Dead Body to the Tabloids


Whitney Houston – The Whole Funeral (Full Video)Finally found the whole video stream. Rest in peace, Whitney. See Whitney live in (full) concert 1991 here: youtube.com/watch?v=S7qApYaWKpE2012-02-19T18:57:40Z

Although the Houston family never revealed the name of the person who leaked the photo, some media outlets suspect that it was Houston’s friend, Raffles van Exel.

Because Houston died with cocaine in her system but there wasn’t cocaine found in her hotel room, there was a theory that someone entered the room and removed drugs. According to the New York Daily News, van Exel confessed to “clearing” Houston’s hotel room after she died.

While van Exel was never outed as the person who sold Houston’s casket photo to the tabloid, his name has popped up in connection with the leaked photo. According to Bossip, HollywoodStreetKing claimed that people knew that van Exel sold “gurney and tub” photos to the tabloids.

According to Forbes, van Exel previously denied selling any photos of Houston to TMZ, specifically. There are unconfirmed reports that he tried to sell at least one photo that he claimed was of Houston’s body on a gurney to TMZ, but the photo was fake.

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