Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Documentary alleges Whitney Houston was sexually abused as a child

Documentary alleges Whitney Houston was sexually abused as a child

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday night, May 16, and audience members were stunned by the revelation the singer was abused as a child.

The teaser then delves into Houston's personal life, particularly her rocky relationship with substance abuse, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown, and her alleged romantic entanglement with longtime friend Robyn Crawford.

The doc is an "intimate, unflinching portrait of Houston and her family that probes beyond familiar tabloid headlines and sheds new light on the spellbinding trajectory of Houston " s life.

"There were always a lot of secrets", says Houston's friend. "I just had a sense, having sat watching interviews about her, watching footage of her, I had a feeling that there was something wrong with her". Another follows up, saying: "His heart was, he wanted to be on the stage".

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"There were times when I looked up to God and I'd go, 'Why is this happening to me?'" Houston says in one scene, reflecting on her rise to celebrity and its downfalls. "And eventually, she stepped down to lift him up". There are also allegations discussed in the film that Houston's father and accountant John Houston was stealing earnings from her.

For most of the documentary's running time, director Kevin Macdonald brings Houston's sadly curtailed life to the screen in a manner reminiscent of Amy, Asif Kapadia's 2015 documentary about the late singer Amy Winehouse: It begins with the handsome voice and the career full of promise, and then come the drugs, the bad-influence husband, the grifting family members, and finally the tragic death. But then I did two things.

The film, which will make its theatrical debut on July 6, incorporates features like never-before-seen archival footage and rare performances to wrap viewers into Houston's life. "And then Nicole sent me this article about Whitney's rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner" and how that changed how the song has been understood and sung ever since" he explained.

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