'Whitney', which premiered at Cannes this week, contains allegations by family members that Houston was sexually abused.
A new documentary film about Whitney Houston, which made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival this week, alleges that the singer suffered sexual abuse at the hands of her cousin, Dee Dee Warwick.
The new film, simply titled Whitney and directed by Scottish filmmaker Kevin Macdonald, debuted in Cannes on Wednesday night (May 16th). The picture received glowing reviews from critics, having gotten many of Whitney’s closest family and friends to speak about the singer’s life and childhood.
It sees Houston’s half-brother, Gary Garland-Houston, and her assistant, Mary Jones, both make the claims against the late singer’s cousin, who died 10 years ago. Dee Warwick is the younger sister of renowned soul legend Dionne Warwick, and was the niece of Whitney Houston’s mother.
Director Macdonald said about the allegations to Deadline: “I interviewed Pat Houston and Gary 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’. So at that stage, I’d had the confirmation that something had happened, but I didn’t know who it was.”
More: Controversial Whitney Houston TV movie biopic brings in big ratings for Lifetime [archive]
After a lot of consideration, Macdonald said he decided to include the allegations as it “may give people the courage to come forward” with their own stories of other abuse situations.
Representatives for the Warwick family have not yet commented on the allegations.
Whitney Houston is one of the biggest selling artists of all time around the world, with global sales well in excess of 200 million records. She also had massive hit singles with the likes of ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘It’s Not Right But It’s Okay’.
Houston died in 2012 at the age of 48, having drowned in a bath in a hotel room, with the coroner ruling that cocaine use and heart disease were factors at play in her death. She had one child from her volatile marriage to singer Bobby Brown, a daughter named Bobbi Kristina, who died at a hospice in 2015 at just 22 years old – also having been found unresponsive in a bathtub.
Whitney is released in UK cinemas on July 6th.
More: Bobby Brown opens up more about Bobbi Kristina and Whitney Houston [archive]
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