Like her sister Dionne, Dee Dee Warwick, born Delia Juanita Warrick, was the niece of the gospel singer Cissy Houston, Whitney’s mother, and grew up in East Orange.
The abuse allegations hadn’t come to light before. Bobby Brown, Houston’s ex-husband, claims to have known nothing about the subject.
In the documentary, directed by Kevin Macdonald, Gary Houston, Whitney’s half-brother, alleges he was sexually abused by Dee Dee Warwick when he was between 7 and 9 years old.
He says he believes that Whitney was also abused by their cousin. His wife, Pat Houston, Whitney’s former manager and the executor of her estate, told Macdonald that the singer had told her about the abuse, though she didn’t go into detail.
Mary Jones, Whitney’s aunt and former assistant, goes on to provide specifics of what she says Whitney told her about the alleged abuse. She says Whitney could never bring herself to tell her mother about it, though Jones encouraged her to do so when she was ready.
Macdonald reframed the whole film around the allegations. For him, it helped to explain the often self-destructive nature of Houston’s behavior, which included years of drug abuse before her death in 2012. (Cocaine was found to play a contributing role in her drowning death.)