LOS ANGELES - A policeman lifted a sheet covering the just-dead body of singer Whitney Houston and made "inappropriate" comments including the remark "Damn, she's still looking good, huh?" a lawsuit alleges.
Beverly Hills Detective Sergeant Terry Nutall had "no legitimate" justification in the action and remarks, when he arrived at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 11 last year, after she had been found dead in a bath.
A coroner subsequently ruled that the 48-year-old singing legend died of accidental drowning, with cocaine listed as a contributing factor, on the eve of last year's Grammys show. In the lawsuit, another policeman, Sergeant Brian Weir, claims he was stripped of various privileges when he raised the alleged misconduct with superiors, according to the legal document published by the Los Angeles Times.
"Nutall, for no legitimate (reason) knelt beside and leaned over the decedent (and) removed the sheet and/or other covering from the body of the decedent to an area below the pubic region of the decedent's body," it said.
He then "came in close proximity to touching the body .. while making inappropriate comments to the effect .. that the decedent 'looked attractive for a woman of her age and current state' and 'Damn, she's still looking good, huh?'"
"Nutall .. law, treated the dead body of the decedent in a way that Nutall knew would outrage ordinary family sensibilities," he alleged in the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles on September 11.
Weir said he responded to the Beverly Hilton Hotel - where Houston was due to attend a traditional pre-Grammys party that Saturday evening - as the senior patrol sergeant on duty at the time.
Afterwards he raised the alleged misconduct with superiors, but claims that the City of Beverly Hills and its Police Department "retaliated" by removing him from duty with SWAT and K-9 units, cutting overtime pay, withdrawing certain privileges and harassing him.