Whitney Houston protected her daughter because of her experiences. She never left her behind while she went on tours.
Trigger Warning: Childhood sexual abuse
The things we undergo as children always have an impact on the way we behave and think as adults. Our fears, worries, and insecurities are all rooted in our childhood days. While few gather the strength to open up and overcome those challenges, some find it tough to overcome the scars of the past.
Famous singer Whitney Houston was the latter kind. Till the day she died, Houston was unable to free herself from the memories and wounds of her traumatic past. She struggled it with every single day but could not utter a single word, not even to her mother.
Houston was 48 years old when she died of an overdose in 2012. She had spoken of her horrific experiences as a child to one person alone i.e. her longtime assistant Mary Jones before her tragic demise. In Kevin Macdonald’s documentary Whitney, Jones revealed the details of Houston's hidden past. She stated that the singer told her that she was abused by a family member named Dee Dee Warwick as a child.
"[Whitney] looked at me and said, 'Mary, I was molested at a young age too. But it wasn't by a man - it was a woman,'" said Mary, recalling the words of her late employer, according to Mirror Online. Further, she claimed that the singer was scared to share her dark secret with her mother.
"She had tears in her eyes. She says, 'Mommy don't know the things we went through.' I said, 'Have you ever told your mother?' She says, 'No.' I said, 'Well, maybe you need to tell her.' She said, 'No, my mother would hurt somebody if I told her who it was,'" reminisced Jones, according to Mirror Online. Seeing the singer in inexplicable pain, the woman hugged her and tried to calm her down. She even advised her to tell her mother whenever she could.
"She just had tears rolling down her face, and I just hugged her. I said, 'One day when you get the nerve, you need to tell your mother. It will lift the burden off you,'" recalled Jones.
Jones knew how much Houston was hurting. Speaking in the documentary, Jones claimed she felt the singer was "ashamed" and could never imagine talking about her abuse to her mother, Cissy. “I think she was ashamed . . . she used to say, ‘I wonder if I did something to make [Dee Dee] think I wanted her.’ I said, ‘Stop. A predator is a predator is a predator.’ If Cissy had known, she would have done something about it, because Cissy loves her children,'" said Jones, according to Vanity Fair.
However, the late singer never mentioned the name of her abuser.
Coincidently, Houston's half brother, Gary Garland also revealed he was molested as a child by their cousin Dee Dee Warwick - the sister of Dionne Warwick. This hinted that Houston was also abused by the same woman. Garland stated that as kids they were often left with other people as their parents were not always around. “Being a child—being seven, eight, nine years old—and being molested by a female family member of mine. My mother and father were gone a lot, so we stayed with a lot of different people . . . four, five different families who took care of us," Garland, according to Vanity Fair.
Though Houston never voiced about the demons of her past, Houston dropped hints about her traumatic childhood.
"Child abuse makes me angry . . . I hate to see kids . . . it bothers me that children, who are helpless, who depend on adults for security and love, it just bothers me. It makes me angry," said the singer during an interview, according to Vanity Fair.
Besides, Houston never left her baby behind even when she went across the world on tours. She insisted on taking her daughter, Bobbi Kristina on every tour she ever went.
Meanwhile, Houston's mother was shocked by the news. “By this statement, we do not intend to defend, condone or excuse the crime of molestation. 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," stated the mother according to Rolling Stone.
She added, “How I wish I could ask Dee Dee and [Whitney] what happened, but 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.”
Houston lived with that dark secret and it is impossible for anyone to predict the extent of her mental stress and distress.