Heartbreaking details about the lives of both Whitney Houston and her daughter are coming to light with the new documentary Whitney.
In the film, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival on Wednesday and was executive produced by family member Pat Houston, numerous relatives, friends and associates offer unflinching accounts of Houston’s amazing life and the demons that plagued her and her only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown.
“She hated her life,” Pat Houston says of Bobbi Kristina in the documentary. Hers was a life that all agreed seemed doomed from the start.
A close family friend identified in the film as Aunt Bae, details the first time she met Bobbi Kristina as a newborn. Whitney, who’d just welcomed her baby girl with then-husband Bobby Brown, had reportedly checked herself out of the hospital early and brought the baby to Aunt Bae’s doorstep. “She was hunched over” the woman recalls in her interview of Whitney’s state when she handed over her baby. “She said ‘Aunt Bae can you bathe her?'”
According to Aunt Bae, Houston left and didn’t return. Before bursting into tears, the now-elderly family friend says she kept Bobbi Kristina for 2-3 months and that the child would go on to live with her for the first eight years of her life.
Everyone from Houston’s brothers to her trusted assistant Mary Jones admits to how hard life was on Bobbi Kristina, who from childhood had a front-row seat to her parents’ chaotic marriage and struggle with drug abuse.
Despite Whitney and Bobby’s love for their only child, “They didn’t take care of Krissy,” says one family member when interviewed, “They just left her to the wolves.”
In one troubling scene, footage is shown of Bobbi Kristina at an unknown age lurched over an iPad, snorting a powdered substance. In another recollection, Pat Houston recalls the time Whitney had to rush to the hospital because Bobbi Kristina had reportedly “cut her arms.”
The anger Bobbi Kristina felt is said to have extended to her mother at times. Pat Houston says Bobbi Kristina once said of Whitney, “I wish I could find a way to kill her and no one find out about it.”
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The film, which covers everything from Whitney’s own experience with child abuse to her meteoric rise and fall from grace, offers firsthand accounts of the superstar’s death at 48 on Feb. 11, 2012 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Just before footage of Whitney performing “I Have Nothing”, it ends with a title card detailing the eerily similar details surrounding the death of Bobbi Kristina, who died at 22 on July 26, 2015, six months after also being found unconscious in a bathtub.
Whitney is in theaters July 6 via Miramax and Roadside Attractions.