New revelations about the late Whitney Houston‘s life are sending shock waves through the music community. The newest documentary titled, Whitney, which was made in full cooperation with the estate, premiered at Cannes on May 16 and included interviews with the singer’s close family members and friends. Mary Jones — Whitney’s longtime assistant — got involved with the project and dropped a bombshell that the “I Will Always Love You” singer had allegedly been sexually abused 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,'” the assistant explained. This woman was reportedly Whitney’s cousin, Dee Dee Warwick, who also allegedly abused Whitney’s half-brother as well.

whitney houston

“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,'” Mary revealed. “She said, ‘No, my mother would hurt somebody if I told her who it was.’ 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.'”

Unfortunately, Whitney never got the chance. Mary believes that the reason Whitney didn’t speak up about her abusive past is because she was “ashamed” of what had happened to her.

whitney houston

“She used to say, ‘I wonder if I did something to make [Dee Dee] think I wanted her,'” Mary said. “I said, ‘Stop. A predator is a predator is a predator.'”

While it’s a bit surprising how many intimate details of Whitney’s life are exposed in the film, the director of the movie Kevin Macdonald said there is a reason he wanted to share it all. “This film hopefully kind of forgives [Whitney] for this extraordinary self-destruction and destruction of her daughter’s experience,” he told Vanity Fair. “And hopefully helps people understand her in a different [light].”

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