‘Whitney’ Documentary Says Late Singer Suffered Child Sexual Abuse

A new documentary about Whitney Houston alleges the late singer was sexually abused as a child by her cousin Dee Dee Warwick. The allegations are made in a film that premiered Thursday out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, Whitney, which charts the superstar’s rise and fall through interviews with dozens of her closest family and friends. Houston enjoyed worldwide fame throughout the 1980s and 1990s but later spiraled into drug and alcohol abuse, and died in 2012. Scottish filmmaker Kevin MacDonald, the director of the film, told Deadline Hollywood the abuse allegations surfaced shortly before the film’s completion, with Houston’s half-brother Gary Houston and her longtime assistant Mary Jones both claiming Dee Dee Warwick abused Houston as a child. Warwick passed away in 2008. MacDonald said he felt obligated to include the abuse allegations in the film because “it may give people the courage to come forward” in other abuse situations.