UPDATE: In light of the attention the photos of Jackie garnered, the Siegel family released a statement via family spokesperson Michael Marder. He tells Us: “People deal with grief differently. Mrs. Siegel is grieving as we all are. I have been with the family starting from the very first moment they learned of Victoria’s death and I can tell you that she has cried … a lot …and has been on an emotional roller[coaster]. There is no authoritative manual that tells us how to grieve. The entire family has been sleeping together in the large family room of the house since this horrible tragedy happened. They are talking together, crying together and caring for and loving each other. The family has been through a terrible tragedy and had been hurt enough and the way Mrs Siegel is being portrayed by some in the media is just adding additional pain not only to her but the entire family.”
Original Story: An unusual portrait of grief. On Wednesday, June 10, the Siegel family laid to rest their 18-year-old daughter Victoria. But it was mom Jackie Siegel, who starred in the family’s 2012 documentary Queen of Versailles, who made headlines for her funeral behavior.
The 49-year-old wife of Westgate Resorts founder David Siegel was photographed taking pictures of her daughter’s casket as it was loaded into the hearse with a gold cell phone.
Jackie was also holding a pink and black zebra-striped cup and a second cell phone in the photos.
The mother of eight took to Facebook on June 9 to shed some light on her daughter’s tragic death.
“The ex-girlfriend of Victoria’s boyfriend used his phone to send cruel and hateful text messages using the boyfriend’s phone,” Jackie wrote in a post. “These messages were sent early on the morning of Victoria’s death. These messages were clearly intended to hurt Victoria and while we cannot be sure may have affected her emotional state at a time when she was emotionally vulnerable.”
Victoria was found unresponsive in her Florida home on Saturday, June 6. Following her untimely death, the Siegel family released a statement to Us Weekly, noting that Victoria had been struggling with substance abuse at the time of her passing.
“Victoria had a history of seizures and was prescribed medication for this condition,” the statement read. “Unfortunately she became dependent and struggled with this condition. She voluntarily underwent rehabilitation and was working hard to address this problem.”