Whitney Houston was reportedly a victim of sexual abuse by her cousin, singer Dee Dee Warwick, according to a new documentary.
Whitney premiered at Cannes film festival on Wednesday (May 16) and toward the end of the film, friends of the legendary singer made a shocking revelation – that she was molested by Warwick at a young age.
Mary Jones, a longtime assistant to Houston, revealed in the doc that the singer told her Warwick had molested her. Jones shared in the doc that the traumatising experience caused Houston to question her own sexuality and perpetuated her drug problems later in life.
“It made her question her sexual preference,” Jones said, according to Entertainment Weekly. “I think she was ashamed,” the former assistant added of why Houston never told her mother, Cissy.
“If Cissy had known, she would have done something about it, because Cissy loves her children.”
The I Wanna Dance With Somebody singer died in 2012 at the age of 48 after an accidental drowning in a bathtub. A coroner ruled heart disease and drug use as factors in her death.
Houston’s half-brother, Gary Garland-Houston, also revealed in the film that he was molested by a female family member between the ages of seven and nine.
The documentary, created by filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, was made with the cooperation of Houston’s family. He conducted roughly 70 interviews with those close to Houston, including her Bodyguard co-star Kevin Costner.
In an interview with Vanity Fair about scourging through hundreds of hours of private footage to make the film, Macdonald told the mag that he had an inkling something troubling happened to Houston in her life.
“There was something very disturbed about her, because she was never comfortable in her own skin,” he told VF. “She seemed kind of asexual in a strange way.
She was a beautiful woman, but she was never particularly sexy. I’ve seen and done some filming with people who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, and there was just something about her manner that was reminiscent to me of that sort of shrinking.”
Warwick, who was 18 years older than Houston, died in 2008 at age 63. The two-time Grammy nominee was the niece of Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, and the sister of Dionne Warwick. Both women grew up in Newark, New Jersey.
The alleged molestation reportedly took place while Cissy was on tour, according to the documentary.
Whitney is set to be released on July 7. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service