A new Whitney Houston documentary claims that the late singer was abused by her cousin Dee Dee Warwick.
The Kevin MacDonald-directed film, which debuted on May 16 at Cannes Film Festival, features interviews with a large number of people who were close to the star, including her ex-husband Bobby Brown, her Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner, and her mother Cissy Houston.
The documentary – which was made with the blessing of her family – alleges that Houston was “molested at a young age” by Dee Dee Warwick, the sister of soul singer Dionne Warwick.
The allegations are made by Houston’s assistant Mary Jones, as well as her half-brother, the former NBA player Gary Garland-Houston. He says that he was also abused as a child by Warwick between the ages of seven and nine.
Speaking to Deadline about the documentary, the Scottish director Kevin MacDonald said “I first began to suspect that there might be some kind of abuse involved before anyone had actually told me. I just had a sense, having sat watching interviews about her, watching footage of her.”
“That was just an intuition, and then somebody mentioned it off-camera to me. They wouldn’t talk about it on camera, but they said Whitney had said to her that something had happened.”
“Then I interviewed [her former manager] Pat Houston and Gary [Garland-]Houston, who’s Whitney’s brother. He told me that he was abused by a woman in the family, and Pat Houston told me that, yes, Whitney had said to her, “This is what happened.”
“On the next interview, Gary did tell me who it was,” MacDonald continues. “This was at the very end of filming, two weeks before we locked the cut. Then I [interviewed] Mary Jones, who was Whitney’s longtime assistant [throughout] the last 10 years of her life, and who knew her better probably better in that period than anybody else. And she told me Whitney’s point of view on this, and what Whitney had told her in detail, and how important she felt it was for understanding Whitney, but how scared everyone was to talk about it.”
In addition to these serious abuse allegations, the documentary also claims that Houston’s father John Houston – who died in 2003 – stole earnings from her, reports The Guardian.
Whitney Houston passed away six years ago, in 2012. Whitney will be released in UK cinemas on July 6.