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I think this is something that Pat Houston agrees with—that we hope, in the end, this really helps Whitney.”Mac Donald’s film examines the fraught relationship Whitney had with Cissy, a professional singer who realized early on how incredible her daughter’s talent was.Having worked around stars for decades, Cissy groomed her daughter extensively to become the legend she became—teaching her to be poised and graceful, how to control her vocal instrument, and sending her to a Catholic all-girls’ high school.Dee Dee went on to sing backup for Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett, and be nominated for two Grammy Awards.Cissy also sang backup for Franklin, in addition to Elvis Presley.Garry Cobb knew it wouldn’t last when he Randall Cunningham was dating Whitney Houston.“Randall was a goody-goody two-shoes type of guy,” Cobb told 94 WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and The Morning Team on Wednesday.I said, ‘One day when you get the nerve, you need to tell your mother. She also urged Jones to bring her daughter along with them on trips. she used to say, ‘I wonder if I did something to make [Dee Dee] think I wanted her.’ I said, ‘Stop. Any negative feelings toward her would be completely wrong. And she said to me, ‘The thing is, I loved her so much, but I still don’t understand why what happened happened to her family.’ That was the key for me. All you have is the purity of her voice, and the beauty of her voice, and the emotion transmitted by the voice in a nonverbal way.It will lift the burden off you.’”Houston never spoke publicly about the alleged abuse—but, as Macdonald uncovers, she did drop clues about it. Asked why Houston never told her mother about the alleged abuse, Jones says, “I think she was ashamed . A predator is a predator is a predator.’ If Cissy had known, she would have done something about it, because Cissy loves her children.’”Macdonald said that Cissy Houston has been informed that the accusation is made in the documentary: “Cissy knows. I think she will watch the film at some stage, but it’s obviously up to her when she wants to do that.”Macdonald also said that Pat Houston—Whitney’s former sister-in-law, manager, and estate executor, who is interviewed in the film—has told Dionne Warwick about the allegations.“She has been informed. Because, I thought, that’s so interesting she had such devotion and love for this woman, yet she never felt like she understood her. One of the biggest puzzles, for me, were those final years of her life.
“[Houston] only had, as far as I’m aware, one proper homosexual relationship, with Robyn Crawford, which people know about. I found some documentation that proves, without a doubt, that it was a romantic relationship between them . Macdonald said that, in his two-decade career, he has never encountered as much “lying and obfuscation” as he did while speaking to Whitney’s circle of associates.“So many people I spoke to were just untruthful to me, just bullshitting.It took awhile for anyone to go on record about it, and eventually the family did.”The bombshell is dropped about three-quarters of the way through —that both Houston and her half-brother, Gary, were allegedly molested as children by their cousin Dee Dee Warwick, the sister of Dionne Warwick and the niece of Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, who died in 2008.Dee Dee and Dionne performed together as the Gospelaires in the 1950s and 1960s, sometimes singing with Cissy’s gospel group, the Drinkard Singers.It was kind of a detective story to get that piece of information, which changed how I felt about Whitney and how I felt about the story.”Macdonald re-edited the entire film to build to that revelation.In Jones’s emotional interview, she recalls a conversation she had with the late singer, during which Jones revealed that her sister had been molested as a child.“[Houston] looked at me and said, ‘Mary, I was molested at a young age too.
The rigorous preparation paid off professionally, but created some resentment in Whitney.