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New Whitney Houston Documentary Takes a Deeper Look at Addiction Battle

David Konow - The Fix
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September 7, 2017
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Whitney. "Can I Be Me" | Official Trailer (Showtime)

A new documentary about Whitney Houston chronicles the legendary singer's life and tragic death, as well as her battle with addiction.

Whitney: Can I Be Me, which recently premiered on Showtime, is the latest film from director Nick Broomfield, the man behind the controversial doc Kurt & Courtney. Broomfield spoke to Rolling Stone about Houston and what he hoped to achieve with his exploration into her life.

“We’re always looking for a reason to not give people a second chance, and I think she was so harshly judged for the drug addiction," said Broomfield. "There was very little attempt to really understand where this was coming from or what it was about. I would like a lot of people to feel that there was a whole other way of looking at this.”

In the documentary, the singer's brother Gary explains how close he was with Whitney and their other brother growing up. They did everything together, he said. “When you get into drugs, you do that together, too.” Gary admitted that he first tried heroin when he was 10.

Ellin Lavar, a long-time friend and stylist for the singer, said, “When Whitney and I met, we were in our teens... It was a thing you do: Go out, party, drink, do a little drugs. Everybody did it, and her brothers gave it to her.”

Can I Be Me also contends that the people around the "I'm Every Woman" singer looked the other way when Houston’s addiction got bad. She reportedly experienced her first overdose when she was making the film Waiting to Exhale. The doc also claims that Houston allegedly had her entourage smuggle drugs into Singapore while performing overseas.

Houston's bodyguard, David Roberts, allegedly sent a comprehensive report about the "disastrous tour to Singapore" to Houston’s family, alerting them that her drug use was out of control and that she was in trouble. The family reportedly ignored the findings and Roberts was fired.

"I'm convinced now that had anyone read listened to and acted upon my report she would now be alive. As would her daughter," Roberts said.

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