Whitney Houston's mum has been rocked by documentary claims suggesting her late daughter was molested by her niece.
Cissy Houston has released a statement to People magazine on behalf of herself and sister, singer Dionne Warwick, insisting they were unaware of the allegations against Dee Dee Warwick until two days before director Kevin Macdonald's film Whitney premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May (18).
In the film, the tragic singer's longtime assistant claimed Whitney told her that her cousin, Dee Dee, molested her as a child, and Whitney's oldest brother also claimed he was one of her victims.
In the statement, Cissy notes Dee Dee, who passed away in 2008, had her "personal challenges", but insists the idea that she would have molested her children is "overwhelming and unfathomable".
"My niece Dionne Warwick and I make this statement to raise our voices above the din surrounding the release of the film, Whitney," Cissy writes. "Although the film is marketed as a Houston Family approved/endorsed project, neither my son, Michael, Dionne nor I knew of the allegations of abuse, the direction the film would take, until two days before the screening at Cannes.
"We cannot, however, overstate the shock and horror we feel and the difficulty we have believing that my niece Dee Dee Warwick (Dionne’s sister) molested two of my three children.
"I've been told - as justification for the invasive theme of this film - that Whitney was a public person and therefore the public has a right to know any and everything about her. I say, NO, she was a famous person... a singer, an actress, a quiet but generous philanthropist. She wasn’t running for office, asking for money or trying to win the right to run anyone’s life. Her job does not entitle the 'public' to know every intimate detail of her life beyond what she herself revealed during her lifetime.
"Although she spoke about her struggle with drugs, the interventions, her daughter Krissi and issues in her marriage, she never PUBLICLY spoke about her father’s stealing from her or revealed any claim that she had been molested. IF she was molested I do not believe she would have wanted it to be revealed for the first time to thousands, maybe millions of people in a film."
Cissy goes on to suggest she would like to quiz her late niece and daughter about the allegations, adding, "This film distinguishes itself from the other films about her by spreading rumor, innuendo and hearsay; leaving questions to which I’ll never have the answers."