Whitney Houston's friend wrote book ‘to share who that woman was behind all the fame’

Robyn Crawford — who was Whitney Houston’s best friend, roommate, confidante and, yes, lover — is speaking out about the book she wrote about their relationship in an interview with NBC.

A preview of her Dateline sit-down aired Thursday on the Today show and Crawford talked about why she decided to write A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston, having kept silent about their love affair for decades.

“I watched her rise to the top of her game and I felt compelled to share who that woman was behind all the fame,” Crawford told NBC News’s Craig Melvin. “I never envisioned speaking publicly about my life and then I asked myself the question, ‘What would Whitney want? Would she understand you know, the time is now?’”

As for that romance, the physical part was fleeting. The women met as teenagers at a summer camp in 1980 and began an intimate relationship, but it was cut short when Houston signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista in 1983. Crawford wrote in her book that Houston said they had to end their physical romance because she was afraid people would find out and use it against them. Further, Crawford said that Houston’s mom, Cissy, did not approve of their closeness. (Cissy told Oprah in 2013 that she “absolutely” would have been bothered if her daughter was gay.)

“She said I don't believe we should be physical anymore,” Crawford recalled. “The music business was a world that we were learning and we didn't want anything to interfere with where she was going… I just felt that I wouldn’t be losing much. I still loved her the same and she loved me and that was good enough.”

As for who knew about their romantic relationship, I would say no one,” Crawford replied. “It was ours.”

And they remained the best of friends after— and, for a while, were housemates.  

“We were intimate on many levels and all I can say was that it was very deep and we were very connected ... our friendship was a deep friendship,” she said. “In the early part of that friendship, it was physical.”

As for people who may doubt her story, she replied, “I can't even get into that. I mean, some people may feel that way. Hopefully, they won't."

A rep for the Houston family didn’t respond to NBC’s request for comment about the interview.

Of course, Houston went on to marry Bobby Brown in 1992 and have Bobbi Kristina in 1993. Houston, who was plagued by drug problems, ended her marriage in 2007. She died in 2012 — drowning the bathtub in her room at the Beverly Hilton with heart disease and cocaine use as contributing factors — at the age of 48. Bobbi Kristina died, in an eerily similar fashion, in 2015.

Houston’s romantic status has been buzzed about for years. The 2018 documentary Whitney, her rumored bisexuality was presented as fact and it described a contentious relationship between Brown and Crawford as they battled for the superstar’s affections.

In 2016, Brown confirmed that Houston and Crawford had a romantic relationship. And, despite any apparent rift between them, he said that had Crawford maybe could have saved Houston from her drug spiral.

“I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today,” Brown told Us Weekly. “She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.”

Crawford, a fitness trainer, ended up settling down with her partner, talent agency executive Lisa Hintlemann, and they share two children.

Dateline will run a special called “A Song for Whitney” featuring Crawford’s interview on Saturday. Then on Monday, Crawford will appear on the Today show for her first live interview.

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