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Newark Mayor

Whitney's Family Asked City

to Cancel Public Memorial Plans

2/14/2012 10:04 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

0214_cory-booker_GETTY_EX
There will be NO public memorial service for Whitney Houston at the 18,000-seat Prudential Center in Newark, NJ ... because Whitney's family didn't want one -- this according to the City Mayor Cory Booker.

A rep for the Mayor's office tells TMZ, "The Houston family has no plans to set up a public viewing at the Prudential Center this Friday" -- despite several reports claiming there was going to be a massive public ceremony ... in addition to previously-scheduled private funeral arrangements.

The rep claims the family specifically asked the city NOT to plan a memorial event -- adding, "In compliance with the family’s wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony."

The funeral is still set to take place this Saturday at New Hope Baptist Church.

123 COMMENTS

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61.

NoBozo    

Good for the family. Funerals are for the family, not the public. I'm sure the immediate family and friends don't want to have it turned into a media circus. Already, the daughter is too fragile and I'm sure the mother does not want her daughter's service made into a spectacle of commercialism and heartless innuendo. The public should respect the family's decision and leave them to mourn.

991 days ago
62.

Hershey Hickenbottom    

Not deserving of a large public funeral. Whitney's album sales aren't even on par with AC/DC, let alone Michael Jackson.

991 days ago
63.

char    

I think we should respect the wishes of the family to have a private service. As for as Clive Davis continuing the party with Whitney dead. It has been reported Davis didnot attend the party he was too devastated over Whitneys death. Most people who still came either hadn't heard or chose to come to celebrate Whitney. Larry King was live on CNN being interviewed about her death and ended the interview abruptly to go to the party with his wife. I think to have canceled it within 2 hours of when it was to start would have been hard to let everyone know. I'm sure it was respectful of Whitney and her memory. If you want to critique anyone it should be the entourage that was with Whitney for days at the Hilton watching her drink, party, show bizarre behavior, taking precriptions, and not saying or doing anything about it . That could have saved her life if they had.

991 days ago
64.

Debby    

Well I understand her family's wishes. But her fans would like to mourn her as well. This is why most of the time they will do something for the fans and then the family can have their time. I feel this isn't right in a way because now you are looking at people who are going to be angry about this who will show up at the church and crowd it outside. This is going to be a mess and it will be the families fault. RIP Whitney "we" your fans will always love you!

991 days ago
65.

jazz    

I agree it is a slap in the face we loved her like she was part of the family...who cares if she was on crack the 70s and 80s where crazy times in NY my mother and father smoked crack at least whitney took care of her kids mines let all her kids go into foster care....anywho I know the family want some respect but at least ride through the streets like they did biggy in brooklyn that **** was alll love!

991 days ago
66.

Rome    

Its the families wishes but, at the same time the fans made Whitney rich and famous. But, what can you do!!!!

991 days ago
67.

natasha ariola    

i respect the families wishes for a private funeral and i understand that but at the same time whitney was loved by so many and we are all feeling this loss and we need a way to mourn for her as well...

991 days ago
68.

JULIE DEBOSE    

messsssss up you are talking about WHITNEY HOUSTON COME ON NOW INVITATION ONLY THAT IS NOT RIGHT AT ALL YOU JUST DON'T DO STUFF LIKE THAT?

991 days ago
69.

janet    

First of all THERE NEVER WAS ANY MEMORIAL SERVICE PUBLIC OR OTHERWISE FOR WHITNEY HOUSTON.

991 days ago
70.

Gigohead     

Newark is a broke ass city and the LAST thing the city needs is to foot a massive police bill when they need to protect their own citizens. Good move Houston family.

991 days ago
71.

rainbow4321    

I'm sure the family doesn't want 18,000+ people gathered together in that city...all the celebs who will be flying in to attend are not gonna wanna be within miles of the locals in Newark. Newark is not LA. Having been born and raised in NJ, I remember just driving down the interstate quickly thru the city to get to the airport was terrifying.
This is not as much about the family wanting privacy for WH as much as it is about the multimillionaires wanting a tight secure perimeter around where the funeral is going to be..where they can pull their limos up to the door and RUN into the safe church to be with their fellow zillionaires. Newark factoids: 40 percent of the residents don't even have a high school diploma, unemployment rate is close to 12%, every Newark mayor in my lifetime (since the 60's) have made headlines for being criminally convicted of crimes while in office (minus the current one, I believe, at least nothing that I have read). In the 90's it was rated the highest crime rate in the frigging country!
Couple the 18,000 who would fit in the arena along with the thousands who will travel to that area, the security issues would be a nightmare in a decent city, never mind Newark!!

991 days ago
72.

gill    

I so hope her family reconsiders. I wasn't a huge MJ fan, but I watched his memorial on TV and it was touching (I cried throughout). It was a beautiful way for his fans to say good-bye one last time. There was closure. There are millions of people that loved Whitney and want to pay their respects, too.

991 days ago
73.

S.    

She died broke because she was a DRUG ADDICT. She does not deserve a memorial, she wasted her life and all her money.

991 days ago
74.

jada    

her family should allow it, she has millions of fans,

990 days ago
75.

SK1958    

Her family gave us the gift throughout her short yet brilliant life. They are entitled to now keep her to themselves and be allowed to mourn privately. Newark and/or the State of NJ can organize a service to celebrate her life sometime in the future - right now this family needs all the privacy they can be afforded and fans or not, we should respect their wishes and thank them for the beautiful gift they gave us in Whitney.

990 days ago
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