Whitney Houston’s mother and cousin have spoken out of their “shock and horror” over recent claims that the famed singer was molested throughout her childhood by cousin Dee Dee Warwick.
Cissy Houston and Dionne Warwick — Dee Dee’s aunt and sister, respectively — said in a lengthy statement to People that the allegations have been difficult for the family to comprehend — especially since Houston never mentioned them before her untimely death in 2012 at age 48.
“We cannot overstate the shock and horror we feel and the difficulty we have believing that my niece Dee Dee Warwick… molested two of my three children” the statement read.
The claims were brought forth by Houston’s longtime assistant Mary Jones, who claimed in the recent documentary “Whitney” that her former boss would frequently question what she’d done as a child to make Dee Dee think that she’d welcome the assault.
Whitney’s older brother Gary also accused Dee Dee of molesting him in the film.
In the statement, Houston and Warwick said they were entirely unaware of the claims before the film’s May premiere.
They also questioned the movie’s decision to pry into the singer’s life, as although she was a famous person, they believe the public has no right to know intimate details she did not wish to share.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”
Houston and Warwick also took aim at Jones, accusing her of betraying Whitney’s confidence by bringing the “rumors and hearsay” to public attention.
“Dee Dee may have had her personal challenges but the idea that she would have molested my children is overwhelming and for us unfathomable,” she said. “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.”
Dee Dee, a soul singer, died in 2008 at age 66.
“I am heartbroken that despite all (Whitney) accomplished fans and haters alike are left with the notion that she lived her life as a victim,” the statement finished.
Jones, meanwhile, defended her decision to bring the allegations to light as a means of letting the world know that Whitney “did not drag herself down all alone — there was a cause.”
Whitney famously struggled with drug addiction, and both heart disease and cocaine were contributing factors to her death.