Whitney Houston grew up around drugs, according to the filmmaker behind her captivating new documentary.
Much has been made about the singer’s addiction and drug abuse, but Kevin Macdonald insists her once-wholesome image hid a past that was swimming in illegal narcotics – and it was inevitable she’d get hooked.
Macdonald’s new documentary, Whitney, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week and offered up a number of stunning revelations, including the fact the singer and her brother were sexually abused by a cousin when they were kids, and the director believes that fact alone led to all of Houston’s problems, not drugs.
“I think she started off taking drugs because it was fun and she liked to have a lot of fun,” he explains to Deadline. “And her brothers took it, and everybody around her took it.
“One of the stories I left out of the film is Michael, her brother, talking about when he was a teenage boy – he first started to earn money as a drug mule, on his bicycle. Taking drugs, running them in from New Jersey into Manhattan. He’d get, like, $300 a time. And so they grew up in that world.
“But I think that what you see in the film is somebody who can’t find themselves, doesn’t know who they are, and who is in pain because they can’t talk about the central problem in their life, which I think came from the abuse. So I hope that when you get to that part in the film it does unlock an awful lot of stuff. It makes you understand why she stayed married to Bobby Brown. It makes you understand what she’s running away from, why her relationship with her mother is so difficult. All sorts of things, I hope, will click into place.”