The documentary “Whitney,” which premiered Wednesday at the Cannes film festival, includes an accusation that Whitney Houston was molested as a child by her cousin, gospel singer Dee Dee Warwick.
Warwick, sister of Dionne Warwick, died in 2008 and was never publicly accused of sexual abuse. But in the film, Houston’s former assistant, Mary Jones, says on-camera that Houston told her Dee Dee Warwick abused her.
“She used to say, ‘I wonder if I did something to make her think I wanted her,'” said Jones. “I said, ‘Stop. A predator is a predator.'”
Dee Dee Warwick was 18 years older than Houston.
Vulture said Jones believed the molestation deeply affected Houston, causing her to “question her sexual preference.”
Director Kevin Macdonald said in an interview with Vanity Fair that the accusation first came to his attention when Whitney’s brother, Gary, said on-camera that he attributes his addiction issues to “being molested by a female family member.”
MacDonald says he only realized what Gary Houston had disclosed while in the editing room, which made him suspect the same thing had happened to Whitney. He told Vanity Fair he persuaded Jones to speak on the record just two weeks before the final cut of his documentary was locked in.
MacDonald also told Vanity Fair that Dionne Warwick has been informed of the accusation, but that “any negative feelings toward her would be completely wrong.”
“She had nothing to do with it. She knew nothing about it. We definitely don’t want any repercussions for her,” Macdonald said.
Representatives for the Houston estate, the film’s production companies and distributors, and Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.