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PREACH IT! Nothing like a dead celebrity to bring out the classy best in mankind

April 12, 2010 |  2:55 pm
Haims Shady charities. Fake "tribute concerts." Super-obnoxious stadium funerals at taxpayer expense -- what is it about a celebrity’s death that seems to bring out the tacky behavior in everybody else?

The above examples come via the families of the late Brittany Murphy and Michael Jackson, of course. But now comes word that Corey Haim, who died March 10, also has inspired cringe-worthy activity among the folks he left behind. Right after Haim’s death, word got out that the late actor’s family had fallen on hard economic times. A memorabilia company called Startifacts stepped in -- quite publicly -- and offered to pay $20,000 toward the actor’s memorial service.

Well played all around. Until Startifacts reportedly learned that a funeral home already had picked up the costs of the memorial and that Haim’s mother intended to use the $20,000 to cover her own cancer treatments. Startifacts got this info from Mark Alexander, the late actor’s brother-in-law. The memorabilia company, which had no trouble paying to lionize a star but apparently had all kinds of issues with a poor lady’s cancer medicine, issued a stop payment on the check.

The dodgiest part of all this? According to a rep for Judy Haim, Corey’s mom, her medical bills are completely covered, and she has no idea what Alexander thought he was doing ...

... telling Startifacts otherwise. There’s also at least some indication that Judy had been planning to use donations such as Startifacts' to repay the funeral home for its donated services.

To be fair, this MOG item could have turned out much worse. Haim’s memorial did not involve the dragging of his golden casket up on stage at the Staples Center. And there is no supposedly grieving spouse offering a media tour of the room where Haim died. Still. Makes you long for the good old days, when the death of an icon spurred little more than a couple of paternity tests and an inheritance war or two.

-- Leslie Gornstein

Photo: Judy and Corey Haim at the premiere of "The Two Coreys" in Hollywood on July 27, 2007. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images.

Click and scroll down for other dispatches on Corey Haim, Brittany Murphy and Michael Jackson, or to tour the Preach It! archives. 

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