The owner of the funeral home where Whitney Houston’s wake took place says she knows who leaked a photo of the late singer in a casket to the National Enquirer. However, it will be left to the Houston family to reveal the person’s name.
Carolyn Whigham said at a press conference this week that only she and two other staff members — her daughter and the funeral home manager — saw Houston’s body while it was at the facility, the Star Ledger reports. Houston’s funeral took place in mid-February at the Newark, N.J. church where she sang at as a child.
Security for the body was provided by Nippy Inc, the singer’s management company, according to Whigham. She said the security team slept at the funeral home.
Less than a week after the funeral, the National Enquirer published a photo of Houston in a casket, which disgusted many of her fans and some writers. (I am included in that list.) The Whigham Funeral Home denied it had leaked the photo.
“I want to clear my name. I want to clear my funeral home because it doesn’t just affect us here,” Whigham said at the press conference, adding that she has received threats and has been spit on because people believe her funeral home leaked the photo.
While Whigham said she knows the identity of the person who supplied the Enquirer with the photo, the Rev. Jethro James — a local pastor who attended the press conference — said it is “up to the Houston family to release the name.”
The singer’s family has yet to release a statement about the photo.
Watch Whigham speak at a press conference below.