- (Photo: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni)
A photograph showing the late Whitney Houston dead in her coffin has sparked outrage and has also led to speculation that someone close to the family may have secretly sold it.
In the latest issue of the National Enquirer, a tabloid magazine that is often criticized for its reporting standards, the confronting picture can be seen with the headline "Whitney: The last photo!"
Houston, who passed on Feb. 11 at the age of 48, can be seen wearing a purple dress and wearing what appears to be a diamond brooch, a diamond earring, and flawless makeup while lying dead in a golden coffin.
The magazine, which critics suspect paid a hefty sum for the photo, claims that the iconic singer was wearing jewels worth approximately $500,000 and golden slippers on her feet, and critics have started questioning who is responsible for selling the picture.
The picture was likely taken at Houston's private wake, which was held at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J., on Friday, the eve of her funeral, according to Daily Mail.
According to sources, Houston's wake was open to close family and friends, and the idea that a friend or family of the "I Will Always Love You" singer could attempt to profit from her death has upset many people.
Fans of Houston, who is believed to have died from a lethal combination of prescription drugs, took to Twitter to share their thoughts on the release of the photo, which many suspect may have been purchased for a hefty sum of money.
"As if I just saw a picture of Whitney Houston in her coffin... As if someone took a picture and sold it to the tabloids," Shane Telford tweeted.
"A bit sick over The National Enquirer's choice to print a photo of Whitney Houston in her coffin..." Jamie Sward tweeted.
"No privacy for Whitney, even in death. As usual, the National Enquirer is a piece of work," Peter Anthony Holder tweeted.