The forthcoming Whitney Houston documentary looks like it’ll be nothing but bombshell after bombshell.
We’re now getting to see the trailer and one of the craziest stories that came from it was that it was alleged that Whitney and her half-brother Gary were molested as children by their cousin Dee Dee Warwick, the sister of Dionne Warwick and the niece of Houston’s Mother, Cissy Houston, who passed away in 2008.
Professionally, Dee Dee and Dionne performed as the gospel group The Gospelaires during the 1950s and ‘60s. They also, at times, sang with Cissy’s gospel group, The Drinkard Singers. Dee Dee alone went on to sing backup for Wilson Pickett and Aretha Franklin, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards.
Whitney was debuted at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday (May 16), which also had the trailer drop online. At about three-quarters of the way through, Gary revealed the jaw-dropping details.
“Being a child—being seven, eight, nine years old—and being molested by a female family member of mine,” he told Kevin Macdonald, the film’s director. ‘My mother and father were gone a lot, so we stayed with a lot of different people . . . four, five different families who took care of us.”
It was two weeks before the edit of the documentary that Macdonald received on-the-record confirmation that Whitney was also abused.
“I finally managed to persuade Mary Jones, who was Whitney’s longtime assistant and probably knew her in her last years more than anybody, to talk [on-camera],” Macdonald said. “She talks about what Whitney felt and what effect it had on her. So we changed the whole cut at the very last minute. It was kind of a detective story to get that piece of information, which changed how I felt about Whitney and how I felt about the story.”
“[Houston] looked at me and said, ‘Mary, I was molested at a young age too. But it wasn’t by a man—it was a woman,’” Jones reportedly says in the film. “She had tears in her eyes. She says, ‘Mommy don’t know the things we went through.’ I said, ‘Have you ever told your mother?’ She says, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Well, maybe you need to tell her.’ She said, ‘No, my mother would hurt somebody if I told her who it was.’ She just had tears rolling down her face, and I just hugged her. I said, ‘One day when you get the nerve, you need to tell your mother. It will lift the burden off you.’”
Wow. We’re so ready for this to drop. What are your thoughts so far? Let us know in the comment section below.
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images