Whitney Houston's sister-in-law exposes the family's darkest secrets in new documentary
Patricia revealed that making the documentary on Whitney hit too close to home for her since she was the one to tell Cissy Houston about her children's abuse allegations
Patricia Houston, who is the executive producer of the new documentary on late musician Whitney Houston's life, revealed in an interview that the singer's own mother was not aware of the allegations that her son and superstar daughter were molested as children until she saw the documentary.
Patricia is also Whitney's sister-in-law since she's married to Gary Garland-Houston. During her conversation with Page Six, she revealed that making the documentary on Whitney hit too close to home for her since she was the one to tell Cissy Houston about her children's abuse allegations, and the fact that they were going in the film's script.
Dee Dee Warwick, who is the niece of Cissy Houston and sister to Dionne Warwick, was the alleged abuser of both Whitney and her brother. The incidents of abuse allegedly took place when Cissy was touring, and the children, Gary and Whitney, were between the ages of 7 and 9.
“It was deeply a revelation for her. You think about her, and it being a bit overbearing for her to hear — and her kids not telling her. That’s pretty tough to have to deal with,” said Patricia.
Whitney’s aunt and assistant, Mary Jones, recalled the singer narrating the incident to her which she alleges took place when Whitney was between seven and nine years. “She looked at me and said, ‘Mary, I was molested at a young age. But it wasn’t by a man — it was a woman," she said.
"She had tears in her eyes. She says, ‘Mommy don’t know the things we went through’. I said, ‘Well, maybe you need to tell her’. She said, ‘No, my mother would hurt somebody if I told her who it was," she continued.“She had tears rolling down her face, and I just hugged her.”
The documentary is the second one on the late singer to be released this year, since “Whitney: Can I Be Me” was released earlier this year. The latest documentary from Whitney's own family member shows the dark side of the life that the singer lived and which ultimately became the reason for her death.
Kevin Macdonald, the director of the documentary, has painted quite an intimate portrait of the famous singer's life in the film, through interviews with her brothers, her mother, friends, and behind-the-scenes footage. “I don’t think you can explain anyone’s life from one particular event that’s happened to them. But I think that it’s certainly fair to say that it’s maybe, in my opinion, the major contributor to Whitney’s unhappiness,” Macdonald said.
“That and the fact that she never talked about it, and that nobody in the family talked about this and clearly it happened as you’d learned in the film.”
He also revealed that the secrets in the late singer's life eventually took a toll on her and cited a clip from the mid-2000s that shows her in conflict. “I think there’s an amazing piece of home movie footage in the film, which was from the early 2000s where Whitney is sort of really looking despairing. … she’s talking to herself, really going, ‘Nippy calling Whitney. Whitney calling Nippy.’ And Nippy was her sort of nickname that everybody close to her knew her as Nippy. And Nippy was the real her, as it were, the intimate her. Whitney was the persona,” Macdonald said.
“I think what you see in that home movie clip is this confusion that she has. I think it got progressively worse as she got older. The confusion between what’s the real me, and what’s not the real me. And obviously, the drugs didn’t help with that,” Macdonald said.
The documentary also shows some of the old footages of the singer which shows her saying that one of the things she hates the most is child abuse. She, later on, began to self-medicate to escape from the bitter memories of her childhood.
Meanwhile, Mary added that Whitney felt a sense of guilt and ashamed to let the world know about what had happened to her. "I wonder if I did something to make her think I wanted her," Whitney had said of the abuse. "It made her question her sexual preferences, whether she really wanted a husband. I think she was trying to find herself," observes Mary.
It is believed that Whitney who got her melodious talent from her mother, took her young daughter Bobbi Kristina on tour with her because she did not want her daughter to experience the same things as she did. Little did she know she was going to walk her daughter into her own death. Bobbi grew up being surrounded in a world where alcohol and drugs were everything. Seeing all her relatives and people around her doing the same, it was only a matter of seconds that she was drawn towards the same.
At the age of 22, Bobbi suffered fatal brain damage and her unconscious body was found in a bath in 2015. Later, Patricia disclosed that it was Whitney's life that had a negative effect on Bobbi while growing up. "Bobbi had once taken a knife and slashed her arms. She hated her mother. She even wrote she wanted to find a way to kill her mother," she said.
With all the buzz around Patricia and her new documentary which opens in cinemas on July 6, there has been a lot of focus on the dead singer's life and times. But Kanye West being Kanye West, he managed to anger the late singer's sister-in-law with the latest cover for his music label's new album. The rapper licensed a photo of the late singer’s drug-strewn dirty bathroom for the cover of Pusha T’s latest album 'DAYTONA', but that did not go down well with the Houston family.
During a press conference for the upcoming documentary at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills on June 25, Patricia expressed her disappointment to reporters. “We’re disappointed, but even in Whitney’s death, no one is exempt from the harsh realities of the world. It’s not the first time the picture has been shown. It’s insane.”
Kevin Macdonald echoed the same sentiment, “To me, I thought it was very insensitive. And then I wonder, ‘OK, did that have anything [to do with] the film coming out?’ You know, all of this is happening at the same time. … The other side of it is, though, even in its negativity … people are so obsessed and affected by that image. [It] is a huge power for people, and they’re using it very much for a shock value, superficial shock value, but it does speak to the way in which Whitney and her death are so much a part of popular culture.”