A love story for the ages. Whitney Houston’s best friend, Robyn Crawford, spoke out for the first time on TV about their romantic relationship.
“We were intimate on many levels,” Crawford, 58, claimed to Craig Melvin on the Today show on Thursday, November 7. “And all I can say is that it was very deep, and we were very connected.”
Crawford said she first met Houston in New Jersey ahead of the singer’s 17th birthday. They quickly became friends and eventually lovers.
“Our friendship was a deep friendship,” she recalled. “In the early part of that friendship, it was physical.”
The A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston author explained that no one else knew about their romance, which ended before the Grammy winner became an international sensation in the early 1980s.
“She said, ‘I don’t believe we should be physical anymore,’” Crawford recounted.
“Were you sad? Were you angry? Were you disappointed?” Melvin, 40, asked.
“I just felt that I wouldn’t be losing much,” she responded. “I still loved her the same, and she loved me. And that was good enough.”
After their physical relationship ended, Crawford and Houston maintained a friendship for many years.
“I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent,” Crawford writes in her upcoming book, per NBC News. “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.”
Houston, who died in an accidental drowning at the age of 48 in 2012, never publicly spoke about her love affair with Crawford, although it was widely speculated. Their relationship was also heavily discussed in the 2018 documentary Whitney.
Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, said in a 2013 interview that she “absolutely” would have been bothered if the “I Will Always Love You” singer had been gay.
However, Crawford writes in her book that she and Whitney “never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”
Crawford’s full interview with Melvin airs on Dateline on NBC Saturday, November 9, at 9 p.m. ET. She will be on Today on Monday, November 11.
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