Dionne Warwick says claims her late sister Dee Dee had molested their cousin Whitney Houston when she was a child were ‘absolutely untrue’ and unforgivable.
The allegations, which were made by Whitney’s longtime assistant Mary Jones, surfaced in a documentary titled Whitney that debuted at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
‘All I can say about Dee Dee is that she was a loving, caring, giving person,’ Dionne, 78, told People Wednesday of her late sister, who was also a singer. ‘What was depicted of her is absolutely untrue and something I will never forgive.’
In the documentary, Jones told director Kevin Macdonald that Houston had revealed to her that Dee Dee – who was 18 years her senior – had molested her when she was a child. Jones said that it impacted Houston into her adulthood, leading to both confusion about her sexuality and the drug demons that haunted her in her later years.
Gary Garland-Houston, Whitney’s brother, said in the documentary that a female relative had molested him when he was between seven- and nine-years-old; and that Houston had also been victimized at the time.
The I Will Always Love You singer had never publicly talked about any abuse that purportedly occurred earlier in her life.
Dee Dee died at 66 in October of 2008 at an Essex County, New Jersey nursing home, while Whitney was 48 when she was found dead in a battub at the Beverly Hilton hotel during Grammys weekend in February of 2012, with her drug use cited as a factor.
Asked by People about Whitney in the new interview, Dionne replied, ‘I usually don’t talk about her.’
Cissy Houston, the mother of the late Greatest Love of All singer, said in a statement issued last year that the molestation allegations caught her off-guard, and that the principle parties involved in the matter were not alive to speak on it further.
‘We cannot reconcile the Public’s need to know about Whitney’s life as justification for invasion of her privacy or the charge against Dee Dee, a charge which neither Whitney nor Dee Dee is here to deny, refute or affirm,’ Cissy said. ‘Neither I, Dionne, nor my son Michael who was very close to his sister … has ever heard these allegations; we have never heard anything remotely connected to the crimes charged against Dee Dee in the film.’
Documentary producer Simon Chinn told the AP last year that the film was intended as ‘a corrective to that tabloid story’ about the troubled singer’s life.
‘These are specific revelations that I think will get people to a deeper understanding of who Whitney was and in many ways redeem her as a person,’ Chinn said.
Dionne chat with the publication to promote her forthcoming album She’s Back, which will be released May 17.