Rumors about Whitney Houston’s relationship with her friend Robyn Crawford plagued her career during her life and even following her death. Crawford remained tightlipped about her relationship with Houston until 2018 when she released her memoir, A Song For You: My Life With Whitney Houston. She wrote in her book that she wasn’t happy with the way the “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” singer was portrayed after her 2012 death.
“Believe me, I’ve done my best to stay out of the spotlight, keeping quiet while others painted their own pictures of me and of us,” Crawford wrote in her book. “In the nineteen years since I left Whitney’s company I have been pursued relentlessly to share my story. And since her death and that of her daughter, I have been saddened and frustrated by the way she and her legacy have been misrepresented.”
In her book, she confirmed that she and Houston had a romantic relationship. They met in the summer of 1980 when they were teenagers working at a summer camp as counselors in East Orange, New Jersey. Weeks after meeting each other, they had their first kiss and were soon intimate, which she wrote in her book.
“You could tell Whitney and I were tight,” she said. “It wasn’t all about our sleeping together. We could be naked. We could be bare and didn’t have to hide. We could trust each other with our secrets, our feelings, and who we were. We were friends. We were lovers. We were everything to each other. We weren’t falling in love. We just were. We had each other. We were one: That’s how it felt.”
After Houston’s singing career took off, Crawford became her assistant and later her creative director, US Weekly reported.
When their relationship began to be questioned, Crawford wrote that Houston gave her a Bible explaining that they could no longer be physical with each other. Crawford wrote that the note said: “If people find out, they’ll never leave us alone.”
“By this time, we were feeling the pressure,” Crawford recalled. “People knew we were tight and were starting to ask about us. We were so connected we could communicate without talking … The love I felt for Nippy was real and effortless, filled with so much feeling that when we talked about ending the physical part of our relationship, it didn’t feel like I was losing that much.”
Crawford Wasn’t Accepted by Whitney Houston’s Mother Cissy Houston or Husband Bobby Brown
In Bobby Brown’s BET biopic, Being Bobby Brown, it was made clear that Brown was not a fan of Crawford or her closeness with his wife. In his memoir, Every Little Step, he also claimed that Houston was bi-sexual and had a romantic relationship with Crawford. He even admitted that if Crawford stayed in Houston’s life she may be alive today.
“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.”
Whitney Houston’s mother, Cissy Houston, didn’t approve of homosexuality, something that is believed to have affected Houston not be open about her sexuality. In Crawford’s book, she recalled what Houston told her about her mother’s views on lesbian relationships.
“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” Crawford wrote. “But we were that close.”
During a 2013 interview with Orpah Winfrey, Cissy Houston said it would have “absolutely” bothered her if she knew Houston was gay.
Houston’s brother, Gary, also disapproved of her relationship with Crawford. In the 2018 documentary Whitney, he called what they had “evil” and “wicked.”