For the first time, Robyn Crawford is admitting she had a romantic relationship with her best friend Whitney Houston.
The 58-year-old, who was the late singer’s closest confidante and loyal protector, released a new memoir titled “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston,” which she says finally sheds the truth about their love story.
“I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship,” Crawford told People magazine on Wednesday. “And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent.”
According to the outlet, Crawford first met a then-16-year-old Houston at age 19 in 1980 when they were both counselors at an East Orange, New Jersey summer camp. It was there when Crawford told Houston, “I’m going to look out for you.” And that’s exactly what she was determined to do for the next two decades as Houston transformed into a global superstar.
“We wanted to be together,” Crawford claimed. “And that meant just us.”
Crawford alleged Houston ended the physical part of their relationship after she signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista. Houston broke the news by giving her pal a slate blue Bible in 1982.
“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” wrote Crawford, as reported by People. “Because it would make our journey even more difficult. She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us. And back in the ‘80s, that’s how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”
Crawford also shared there was pressure from Houston’s family, including her mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston.
“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” she said. “But we were that close.”
For years, Houston’s relationship with Crawford has been the subject of speculation. Rumors swirled that the two women were secret lovers.
“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” wrote Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”
“Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me,” Crawford continued. “We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.”
Houston, who struggled with drug use, died in 2012 at age 48. Today, Crawford is a fitness trainer who lives a quiet life with her partner, talent agency executive Lisa Hintelmann, with whom she adopted two children.
Crawford hopes her book will finally set the record straight about her relationship with the pop singer, but more importantly, reveal who Houston truly was.
“I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” said Crawford.