The doc­u­men­tary

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE -

“Whit­ney” pre­mieres at Cannes and al­leges a dark in­ces­tu­ous his­tory about the singer that of­fers a new un­der­stand­ing of her trou­bled and tragic life.

Friends of Whit­ney Houston al­lege the singer was mo­lested as a child by her cousin Dee Dee War­wick in a doc­u­men­tary that pre­miered Thurs­day at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val.

Houston’s long­time as­sis­tant Mary Jones tells film­maker Kevin Mac­don­ald that the late singer told her that War­wick, the sis­ter of Dionne War­wick, mo­lested her at a young age. Houston’s brother Gary Gar­landHous­ton also says he was mo­lested be­tween the ages of 7 and 9 by a fe­male fam­ily mem­ber, and says his sis­ter was abused too.

Dee Dee War­wick, who was 18 years older than Houston, died in 2008.

The al­le­ga­tions were made in the doc­u­men­tary “Whit­ney,” which was made with the co­op­er­a­tion of Houston’s fam­ily. The rev­e­la­tions, which come about three-quar­ters of the way into “Whit­ney,” im­me­di­ately cast a new light on Houston’s trou­bled life.

Jones claims that the ex­pe­ri­ence made Houston ques­tion her own sex­u­al­ity and con­trib­uted to her late-life drug prob­lems. The singer died at age 48 in 2012 from what was ruled an ac­ci­den­tal drown­ing in a bath­tub. A coroner’s re­port into her death cited heart dis­ease and drug use as con­tribut­ing fac­tors. She never spoke pub­licly about her own al­leged abuse.

“We al­ways wanted our film to be a cor­rec­tive to that tabloid story,” said pro­ducer Si­mon Chinn. “These are spe­cific rev­e­la­tions that I think will get peo­ple to a deeper un­der­stand­ing of who Whit­ney was and in many ways re­deem her as a per­son.”

“Whit­ney” is sched­uled to be re­leased in the­aters July 7.


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