When the new Whitney Houston documentary about the legendary pop singer premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, entitled Whitney, viewers were shocked by its assertion that Houston and her half-brother Gary were both allegedly molested by their cousin Dee Dee Warwick. Now Houston’s mother Cissy Houston and Cissy’s niece Dionne Warwick are speaking out against the film’s Whitney Houston molestation claims, basically saying it didn’t happen, and if it did, it was inappropriate to put in a film.
In a statement released to People magazine, Cissy and Warwick say that while Whitney is marketed as a “Houston Family approved/endorsed project,” neither Cissy, her son Michael nor Warwick knew of the film’s sexual abuse allegations until two days before it screened at Cannes.
“We cannot, however, overstate the shock and horror we feel and the difficulty we have believing that my niece Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne’s sister) molested two of my three children,” the statement, written by Cissy, says.
“I’ve been told — as justification for the invasive theme of this film — that Whitney was a public person and therefore the public has a right to know any and everything about her,” the statement reads. “I say, NO, she was a famous person … a singer, an actress, a quiet but generous philanthropist. She wasn’t running for office, asking for money or trying to win the right to run anyone’s life. Her job does not entitle the ‘public’ to know every intimate detail of her life beyond what she herself revealed during her lifetime.”
“Although she spoke about her struggle with drugs, the interventions, her daughter Krissi and issues in her marriage, she never PUBLICLY … revealed any claim that she had been molested. IF she was molested I do not believe she would have wanted it to be revealed for the first time to thousands, maybe millions of people in a film.”
Here’s the trailer to the Whitney Houston documentary:
In the statement, Cissy then accuses the film of “spreading rumor, innuendo and hearsay; leaving questions to which I’ll never have the answers.” The statement also says, “The idea that [Dee Dee] would have molested my children is overwhelming and for us unfathomable,” yet ultimately concedes that, because Dee Dee Warwick died in 2008, the family may never know the truth of the allegations.
According to the sexual abuse nonprofit organization Darkness to Light, only about one-third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified, and even fewer are reported. The organization also says that 90% of times sexual abuse survivors know their abuser and that sexual abuse survivors have a higher likelihood of developing a drug addiction.