Film al­leges Hous­ton was mo­lested by cousin

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Martha Ross mross@ba­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact Martha Ross at 925-943-8254.

New al­le­ga­tions that Whit­ney Hous­ton’s much older cousin Dee Dee War­wick sex­u­ally abused her as a child have cast new light on the late singer’s trou­bled life.

The al­le­ga­tions come from mem­bers of Hous­ton’s in­ner circle and are pre­sented in the new doc­u­men­tary “Whit­ney,” which pre­miered Thurs­day at the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val and which comes to the­aters July 7. “There was some­thing very dis­turbed about her, be­cause she was never com­fort­able in her own skin,” the doc­u­men­tary’s di­rec­tor Kevin Macdonald told Van­ity Fair in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day.

“She seemed kind of asex­ual in a strange way,” he added. “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 that­was rem­i­nis­cent to me of that sort of shrink­ing — a lack of com­fort in her own phys­i­cal­ity that felt, maybe that is what it­was.”

About three-quar­ters of the way through the doc­u­men­tary, Hous­ton’s long­time as­sis­tant Mary Jones re­veals that the late singer told her that Dee Dee War­wick, the sis­ter of Dionne War­wick, mo­lested her. Dee Dee War­wick, who was 18 years older than Hous­ton, died in 2008, Page Six re­ported. Hous­ton’s brother Gary Gar­land- Hous­ton also said he was mo­lested be­tween the ages of 7 and 9 by an un­named fe­male fam­ily mem­ber, ac­cord­ing to Van­ity Fair and Page Six.

In the film he re­calls, “Be­ing a child — be­ing 7, 8, 9 years old — and be­ing mo­lested by a fe­male fam­ily mem­ber of mine. 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.” He claimed the abuse led to his own prob­lems with ad­dic­tion.

Whit­ney Hous­ton like­wise dealt with sub­stance abuse is­sues, which she never pub­licly ac­knowl­edged but which con­trib­uted to her death in 2012 at age 48.

The singer was found dead in a bath­tub at the Bev­erly Hil­ton. Coroner’s of­fi­cials ruled that her death was caused by an ac­ci­den­tal drown­ing but cited heart dis­ease and drug use as con­tribut­ing fac­tors.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Singer Whit­ney Hous­ton, left, was abused by cousin Dee Dee War­wick, ac­cord­ing to a new doc­u­men­tary.

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