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By Chris Gardner
In a controversial move, National Enquirer has published a photo of Whitney Houston in an open coffin with the headline, "Whitney: The Last Photo!"
The picture was reportedly taken during Houston's private wake, held Friday inside Whigham Funeral Home in Newark, N.J. Only close friends and family were invited to the service, and it's unclear who took the photo. The Enquirer is known to pay large sums of money for private photos.
According to the Enquirer, Houston is pictured wearing her favorite purple dress, more than $500,000 in jewelry and gold slippers. On the inside liner of the casket, Houston's famous nickname "Nippy" is visible and surrounded by music notes.
RELATED: Friends Remember Whitney Houston
Reactions on Twitter have been flooding in, with users alleging that the Enquirer "crossed the line" and "disrespected" the late Houston by running such a private photo. It's not the first time the Enquirer has published a picture of a late entertainer in their casket: The tabloid ran a similar photo of Elvis Presley after he died in 1977.
Houston passed away on Feb. 11, 2012, in a bathtub at Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., at the age of 48. She was celebrated during a funeral service on Feb. 18 at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark and was laid to rest the following day in a plot next to her father.
RELATED: In Memoriam: Whitney Houston
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