White Defends Getty Funeral Absence

Betty White has defended her decision not to attend Estelle Getty's funeral, insisting her former Golden Girls co-star would not have wanted her there.

White and castmates Bea Arthur and Rue McClanahan were accused by the media of disrespecting the late actress after they failed to attend her private memorial service last month (24Jul08).

But White, 86, is adamant Getty would have been furious if her co-stars had turned up at the ceremony - because they would have attracted even further tabloid coverage.

White explains, "We were with Estelle when it mattered. I didn't go to her funeral and Paul, her wonderful caretaker, knew I wasn't going to her funeral. Funerals are about (the media) - who was there and who wasn't? That's not about Estelle. We adored her. To tell you the truth, her passing is tough on us, but it's a blessing for her. She's been so ill for so long, she's in a better place now, wherever she is."

Getty died at her Los Angeles, California, home from Lewy Body Dementia, a progressive brain disease. (PAW/WNWCETO/ZN)