Robyn Crawford says that as Whitney Houston’s best friend, lover, roommate, confidante and professional gatekeeper, she would have known if the singer had been molested as a child by her cousin Dee Dee Warwick.
Crawford appeared on Monday’s Today show to promote her book, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston, and was asked about the molestation allegation that surfaced in the 2018 documentary Whitney.
“She never mentioned to me that she was molested by Dee Dee and we talked a lot about our families,” replied Crawford, who met Houston when they were teens working at a summer camp and became inseparable. “And she shared her concerns about her family and disappointments and the love of her family.
“If there was any truth to that, I would know about it,” Crawford added.
In the book, Crawford wrote that Houston was “very close” to the Warwick family. Dionne, already an established performer, took Houston under her wing professionally. And “Whitney loved Dee Dee,” who was also a singer but had drug dependency issues, and spoke fondly of her, Crawford wrote.
Houston’s half-brother Gary Garland told Whitney director Kevin Macdonald that Dee Dee, who died in 2008, sexually abused him as a child. He claimed he was between 7 to 9 years old when it allegedly occurred, while Dee Dee was in her mid- to late-20s. He said he believed Houston had been molested as well. Garland’s wife, Pat Houston, and Houston’s aunt, Mary Jones, also claimed Houston told them she had been abused.
When the film came out, Houston’s mom, Cissy Houston, and Dionne, strongly refuted the claim, calling it “unfathomable.”
Speaking of Brown, while Crawford told NBC last week that Brown didn’t introduce Houston to cocaine during their tumultuous and drug-addled marriage, she didn’t have a whole lot of positive things to say about him, either.
Crawford said Houston ended their sexual relationship in 1983 when the singer signed with Arista records because she thought it would hurt her career and it went against her religious beliefs. While the women remained extremely close — and Crawford recalled Houston becoming jealous when she had other same-sex romances — Houston went on to have brief romances with Jermaine Jackson and Eddie Murphy before getting together with bad boy Brown in 1989. They married soon after, with Crawford serving as the made of honor at the wedding.
“This was a choice of hers of someone that she said she loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with. I supported that,” Crawford said on Today.
Crawford writes extensively in the book about Houston and Brown’s doomed relationship — during which they fought addiction and each other.
“I wasn't around that much where I could clock every change,” said Crawford, who had moved out of Houston’s home had moved up the ladder at Nippy Inc., so she was no longer Houston’s assistant.
“The behaviors that I saw I was uncomfortable with,” Crawford continued, pointing to the couple’s “disputes” and “everything that was in the press.”
Crawford said Houston’s drug troubles, which began as a young teen, worsened, and attempts to get her help failed, so she decided to quit. But Crawford admitted that Brown being around was also a factor.
“Bobby had something to do with the moment I had said I had enough,” acknowledged Crawford. “Bobby was annoying. He was very annoying... [But] I moved on because I felt I had done all I could do.”
As for why she’s speaking out now— seven years after the star drowned — Crawford said she’s sad about Houston’s tarnished legacy.
“I felt like all that she had left us — all the accolades, all the awards — were covered with all the tragedy, her legacy was just covered,” said Crawford, who is now a physical therapist and has a family with partner Lisa Hintleman. “And I just wanted to reach, and pick her up, take everyone into the Whitney that I know that shows this career, who was ready for this career, who elevated to heights that one could only dream up. I wanted to lift her legacy, where she could hold it.”
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