Aretha Franklin is not amused by the rumors swirling about her absence from goddaughter Whitney Houston‘s funeral this past weekend. Franklin was expected to sing “Greatest Love of All” at the funeral, but was a last minute no-show.
Franklin told Extra that she needed to stay off her feet until her concert the night of the funeral. “Regretfully, I am so sorry that I was unable to be with you at Whitney’s service today. I had every intention of being there,” she said in a statement. “But unfortunately I had terrible leg spasms and locked leg muscles until
4:00AM this morning following my concert last night, which I’ve been
having for the last few days. I feel it necessary and very important to
stay off my leg today as much as possible until concert time this
evening. My heart goes out to my dear friend Cissy, Dionne, Bobbi
Kristina and the rest of the family. May God keep them all.”
Despite the statement, some fans and media members speculated that Franklin was missing from the event due to a feud with Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston. Word was that Cissy was offended by an interview Franklin gave to “Today” which may have implied that Whitney’s drug problem was related to her upbringing. Franklin says that is simply not the case.
Franklin issued the following statement to E!.
“Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) should stop the BS. Cissy Houston and I have been longtime friends for almost 50 years. I have four invitations and parking passes that were sent to me for the funeral. Extra TV, the New York Post and Newsday (New York) are more interested in sensationalism and negative speculations than the truth. People are getting their information from the wrong source. The intelligent and the thoughtful thing to do would be to respect and have some sensitivity to the moment. If you don’t know how, at least try. Cissy does not need ridiculous speculation and neither do I–particularly at this time. Also, with respect to the Today Show, my entire statement was pretaped. However, the Today Show did not air the part of my statement, which said, ‘This is no reflection on Cissy or Nippy’s upbringing.’ Knowing Cissy as well as I do, I know Whitney left home right and properly. I was generalizing and it was a well intended statement for any young adult coming into the music industry. I was not speaking of anyone specifically.”