The National Enquirer has published a photo of Whitney Houston lying in an open casket on the cover of this week's issue, unleashing new questions about how the photo was obtained and whether the supermarket tabloid has finally gone too far.
The photo shows Houston lying in a casket with a cream-colored lining highlighted with the late pop diva's little-known nickname -- "Nippy" -- and music symbols. Houston is the picture of elegance at rest. She is wearing what appears to be a deep purple dress, her trademark smoky eye makeup and a subtle dash of pink on her lips as well as sparkly earrings. Her hair is pulled back.
The headline and cover text provide a marked contrast. "Whitney: The Last Photo!" the dominant headline screams. It's followed by other headlines promising to take readers inside her private viewing, plus claims that she was buried in $500,000 worth of jewelry, was wearing her favorite purple dress and was laid to rest with gold slippers on her feet.
Public outrage over the publication of the photo is growing even as the circumstances surrounding the image remain uncertain. Chief among the questions being asked: Was the snapshot authorized by anyone related to Houston?