Whitney Houston's sister-in-law opens up about Dee Dee Warwick sexual abuse allegations

New documentary film 'Whitney' contains allegations that Whitney was abused by her cousin.


As a new documentary film prepares to shed light on Whitney Houston's traumatic past, her sister-in-law Patricia Houston has opened up for the first about allegations that the late singer was sexually abused by her own cousin, the soul singer Dee Dee Warwick.

Whitney, which is set for release in the UK on July 6, contains new allegations from Whitney's bother Gary Houston that both he and 'I Will Always Love You' singer were abused as children by Wawrick, who was almost 20 years their senior.

The allegations are backed up by Whitney's former personal assistant Mary Jones, and in the new July issue of Attitude, Whitney's sister-in-law Patricia opens up about bringing the painful saga to light.

“When I first saw it in the film,” says Patricia, “I was gasping for breath.”

Patricia Houston picture with sister Whitney before the singer's death in 2012.

Despite Dee Dee's death in 2008 at the age of 66, the decision to include the stories in the film was not one taken lightly - not least due to the fact that two of her closest relatives, sister Dionne Wawrick and aunt Cissy Houston - Whitney's mother - are still alive.

“You start thinking about them and the impact that it had on their life,” says Patricia, “the shame that you feel now or the embarrassment that Dionne may feel, the hurt that they may feel.

“They were astonished because they did not know, they honestly did not know.”

“Behind all this you have to swing back and think about Whitney and Gary and everything they went through.”

Patricia Houston, shot by Leigh Keily exclusively for Attitude's July issue

She adds: “You’re naming a person who was public. I had sleepless nights about that.”

Despite the pain dug up by Whitney, which contains never-before-seen archival footage and original interviews with those closest to the star, Patricia hopes that being honest may help victims of exual abuse to come forward. 

“I started thinking about millennials, young children and people who can learn from this because with molestation, [the victims] don’t talk," she says.

“Look at everything that is happening out there with #MeToo. It took women 20 or 30 years to come forward. Can you imagine, a child? They are scared. They would never tell.”

She adds: “I’m unapologetic for the film. It is what it is.”

'Whitney' hits UK cinemas on 6 July. Read our exclusive interview with Patricia Houston and Lisa Erspamer in Attitude's July issue

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