Houston Memorial Scrapped

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February 14, 2012 | 2:21pm EST

A public memorial for Whitney Houston has been scrapped.
Fans were expected to pile into Newark, New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Friday for a service reminiscent of Michael Jackson’s huge Los Angeles send-off in 2009 and venue bosses had begun to make arrangements for the big event.

But on Tuesday morning, Carolyn Whigham, the spokesperson for the Whigham Funeral Home – where Houston’s body currently lies – said the family feels it has “shared” the superstar “for 30-something years with the city, with the state, with the world,” and relatives now insist, “This is their private time.”

And a representative for Newark Mayor Cory Booker tells TMZ.com, “In compliance with the family’s wishes the city is not moving forward with any public ceremony.”

Following her death on Saturday in Los Angeles and an autopsy on Sunday, Houston’s body was flown to her native New Jersey on Monday onboard a private plane owned by filmmaker and actor Tyler Perry, who is a close family friend.

The remains were transferred to the funeral home in a hearse early on Tuesday.

A private funeral will take place at Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church on Saturday at noon.