Robyn Crawford breaks silence on Whitney Houston romance
The late Whitney Houston's best friend, Robyn Crawford, has confirmed speculation she had a physical relationship with the singer.
Robyn Crawford first met the "I Will Always Love You" hitmaker - who died seven years ago aged 48 - when she was 19 and Whitney was 17 and they were both camp counsellors in New Jersey and they had a connection immediately.
She said: "We wanted to be together, and that meant just us...
"We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever."
Although they remained close for decades, Robyn, now 58, claims Whitney ended their physical relationship in 1982, shortly after signing her record deal with Clive Davis.
She recalled in an extract from her new memoir, 'A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston' obtained by People magazine: "She said we shouldn't be physical anymore, 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."
To break the news, the 'I Have Nothing' singer gave Robyn a gift of a slate blue Bible.
She added: "I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence."
Whitney had also faced pressure from her mother, Cissy Houston: "Whitney told me her mother said it wasn't natural for two women to be that close, but we were that close."
The fitness trainer maintained a strong bond with Whitney - who had a 14-year marriage to Bobby Brown, the father of her late daughter Bobbi Kristina - throughout her life and their closeness was often the subject of speculation about the true nature of their relationship.
She wrote: "Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me. We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other."
Robyn - who has two adopted children with her partner Lisa Hintelmann - felt the time was right now to break her silence and write about the singer.
She said: "I'd come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent...
"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."