Whitney Houston Death Photo Front Page News

The National Enquirer has stirred controversy by publishing what it claims is the last photograph of late legendary songstress Whitney Houston. The cover of the tabloid's March 5 edition features the acclaimed singer laying dead in her open coffin.

More controversy for The National Enquirer.

The supermarket glossy is under fire after reportedly purchasing a photo that appears to show departed pop powerhouse Whitney Houston lying in her open casket. The tab has published the snap on the cover of its March 5 edition.

"Whitney: The Last Photo," blares the headline.

The "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" singer was found dead in the bathtub of her suite at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on Feb. 11.

Enquirer editors got their hands on grainy images of the late songstress supposedly taken at the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, New Jersey on Feb. 17. The images where allegedly snapped via smartphone during a private wake for a handful of Houston's close friends and family members.

The Grammy-winning songbird was laid to rest wearing a purple dress with color-coordinated eye shadow and lip gloss. The platinum coffin had the singer's nickname -- "Nippy" -- embroidered in the silk lining between two treble clef symbols. The tragic star was even adorned in more than $500,000 worth of jewels.

"Whitney looked lovely… like a queen," squealed one spy.

National Enquirer hires actress to play dead Whitney Houston >>

Publishing controversial photos of deceased celebrities isn't exactly new business for The National Enquirer and similar publications.

In 1977, a death snap of music legend Elvis Presley in his casket made its way to the newsstands, courtesy of the Enquirer. The issue went on to become an international bestseller.

The Enquirer published a post-mortem photo of Beatles icon John Lennon on its cover in 1980. In 2010, Globe ran a cover photo of Diff'rent Strokes child star Gary Coleman on his death bed.

Already? Whitney Houston's stuff up for auction >>

Just last week, the Enquirer hired a model to pose as Whitney's corpse in a photographic death scene reenactment. The cover page advertised "Exclusive Crime Scene Photos," but closer examination revealed a tiny disclaimer admitting to "photo re-creation."

An unidentified Houston doppelganger was pictured lying face down on a bathroom floor, seemingly in character as the dead superstar, in the snaps.

The Houston casket scandal is reminiscent of a stunt the Enquirer pulled as recently as 2007. The magazine "obtained" (Code for "Bought") a photo of Anna Nicole Smith's dead body in a Florida morgue and ran it under the headline "Anna Nicole: The Last Photo!"

Sound familiar?

Should the Enquirer have published an open casket photo of Whitney Houston? Is it ethical for publications to run photos of dead celebs?

Photo credits: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

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Comments on "National Enquirer publishes Whitney Houston casket photo"

Mz. G March 04, 2012 | 3:06 PM

I think it is very unethical of the National Enquirer to do such a thing. Where do they draw the line when it comes to journalism? I mean anyone else could have done the same thing but as people themselves with family and love ones famous or not that's just not something you want to see. Especially the family, It doesn't allow them time to grieve and morn their loss. I guess some of them do have morals, more than I can say for the national enquiror. Which should be called the #thetrashionalenfirer because you are trash and need to be fired.

panda's mom March 01, 2012 | 11:22 AM

i don't think that those pictures should have been published unless the family okayed it first. That is a private event and who ever did it should be ashamed of themselves. What is this world coming to that someone can't even be laid to rest without the media being in the middle of it.

Amanda February 23, 2012 | 8:50 PM

In my first comment after my question where it says No.... I meant yes. The enquirer has done this before and there were people back then and people still to this today taking these photos to gain $$$ which is sickening and these people are just as sick and as ruthless as The National Enquirer. I think there should be some kind of privacy act on this ESP when it comes to a family's time of mourning. Let them grieve in peace without the whole world in on it. Just my opinion though. Some will agree and some want. ~Amanda~

Amanda February 23, 2012 | 8:36 PM

It's ashame some would go that far, but really with the way society is, is it really a shock that one such person or persons would go that far? No.... I hope Mrs Houston rests in peace. We are all on borrowed time and to me she was an "Angel" a Borrowed Angel. R.I.P. I'm going to miss you and your beautiful voice. Always, Amanda H (Louisiana)

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