Over the years there has been much speculation about the nature of Whitney Houston’s relationship with her close associate Robyn Crawford, who was frequently seen in the artist’s company from the early 1980s on. The pair’s closeness frequently spawned speculation about the nature of their relationship.
“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” writes Crawford — pictured above, far right, with Houston and Bobby Brown — in a new memoir called “A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston,” excerpted in this week’s People magazine. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”
In the excerpt, Crawford, now 58, writes about their relationship and her motivation for writing the memoir.
“I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship,” she said of the singer, who died in 2012. “And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent.”
The pair met as teenagers while working as at an East Orange, New Jersey summer cam. Crawford recalls telling Houston, “I’m going to look out for you.” A romantic relationship ensued. “We wanted to be together,” says Crawford, “and that meant just us.”
However, the “physical” aspect of their relationship ended after Houston signed with Clive Davis’ Arista Records. Houston told Crawford of her decision by giving her a blue Bible one day in 1982.
“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford, “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.”
She also said Houston’s family, including her mother Cissy, pressured her to ease up on the relationship.
“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” Crawford says, “but we were that close.”
Their closeness spawned relentless speculation about Whitney’s sexuality for many years.
But as Crawford writes so movingly in her book, that connection was just one part of her deep and lasting bond with Houston, who struggled with drug use and died in 2012 at the age of 48.
“Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me,” says Crawford. “We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.”