New documentary explores Whitney Houston's sexuality, drug use

The new, unauthorized, Showtime documentary makes surprising claims about the singer's battle with drug abuse and her love life.
4:02 | 08/22/17

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Transcript for New documentary explores Whitney Houston's sexuality, drug use
"Gma" cover story. Some surprising new revelations about the life of Whitney Houston, the new documentary "Whitney: Ki be me?" Revealing her personal struggles and "Nightline's" juju Chang is back with more. Good morning. Her voice is still instantly recognizable. Whitney Houston's musicality and her marketability helped her cross over and win millions of fans and yet this new documentary suggests her big struggle, her own public persona. It's an up close look at what happened backstage. Her love life and her relationship with daughter Bobbi Kristina. ??? The greatest love of all ??? Reporter: She was the glamorous pop princess with one of the greatest voices of all time. And now a new showtime documentary shows you a private Whitney Houston, the public didn't know. Filled with never before seen backstage footage from her 1999 world tour. ??? Jump jump jump ??? Reporter: Filled with new insights into her troubled life. When the world first met Whitney Houston, she was a wholesome, church girl, gospel singer. Yes, but -- That was the image. Absolutely, but she came from the hood. I grew up in Newark, new Jersey, and in eastern Orange, New Jersey. The brothers knew the dealers in New Jersey and they were older and they were using and then one day they introduced her to that. We were always like I said together and her falling behind me, we -- I told her to drive. You know. We played together. You know and everything that you do together as you are growing up then when you get into drugs you do that together too. Reporter: That drug use eventually passed down from one generation to the next. ??? Just want to say clap your hands ??? ??? clap your hands ??? Reporter: She was an absentee mother. Yes, and I think with all the negative parts that that means. We have a great relationship. We really do and I'm very, very proud of that. I cherish it. I try to talk to her at least three times a week, although it's very hard to talk. It's worse to talk sometimes than not to. Reporter: There may have been distance between the two but for years she and her childhood friend robin Crawford were inseparable leading many to speculate about their relationship. The mother actually said at the time that she would like Whitney to marry a man because the rumors of her and robin were so severe and so intense. This wasn't her world. I mean I brought her into this madness. She goes, why am I the target? What did I do? Reporter: The film's title "Whitney: Can I be me?" Suggests she never could and that is perhaps what maybe destroyed her. She probably would still be here. ??? Find your strength in love ??? It's true, chills. That voice. The filmmaker uncovered a letter written by one of her bodyguards with a dire warning about rampant drug use on the tour. He says he was then fired. The film also dispelled some of the Whitney mythology that was fame or Bobby brown that ruined her. The film points out she dabbled in drugs in her early teens long before she fell for the bad boy singer and while many of her close friends spoke on camera, the family did not want to comment on the film. Can't blame them for that. Fascinating. What a gift she had. She was so talented. Thanks so much. "Whitney: Can I be me?" Airs on Friday on showtime.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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