Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, is speaking out about the new documentary, Whitney, calling the film “invasive.”
In the documentary from Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald, Whitney Houston’s longtime assistant said the legendary singer told her she was molested as a child by her cousin, Dee Dee Warwick. Whitney’s brother Gary said he was also sexually abused by Warwick.
In a joint statement published Wednesday by People magazine, Cissy and her niece, Dionne Warwick, said they are in “shock” over the allegations.
“We do not intend to defend, condone or excuse the crime of molestation,” the statement said. “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.”
They go on to call the allegations “unfathomable.”
Cissy and Dionne added that they have many problems with the film, but they don’t want to “minimize” the lifelong damage that abuse can cause.
“We make no attempt to minimize the pain, the trauma and perhaps lifelong damage to the psyche of abuse victims,” they stated.
Dee Dee Warwick died in 2008, and Whitney Houston passed away in 2012.
Even though the movie was described as being approved by the family, Cissy said she didn’t learn about the abuse claims until two days before the film premiered in May.
“Although the film is marketed as a Houston Family approved/endorsed project, neither my son, Michael, Dionne nor I knew of the allegations of abuse, the direction the film would take, until two days before the screening at Cannes,” the statement said.
They added that Whitney never would have wanted the molestation claim or the allegation about her father stealing from her to be made public.
“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. I say, NO, she was a famous person … a singer, an actress, a quiet but generous philanthropist,” Cissy stated.
The statement added, “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.”