Since the 1980s, after the pair frequently appeared together in public, many have questioned the nature of the relationship between the late Whitney Houston and her close friend Robyn Crawford.
Though the I Will Always Love You singer died unexpectedly in 2012 and is no longer able to confirm or deny any of the long-speculated rumours, Crawford — seven years after her best friend’s passing — has claimed that they once had a “physical” relationship.
As excerpted by People, Crawford’s upcoming memoir, A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston, says the inseparable duo were sexually involved before Houston signed to Arista Records in 1982, two years after they met.
In the excerpt, Crawford, 56, details the supposed first kiss between her and the iconic pop star.
According to Variety, at the age of 16, Houston met a 19-year-old Crawford while they both worked as counsellors at a summer camp in East Orange, N.J.
“We were on a journey together,” she wrote. “We were connected.
“We talked and talked, and then all of a sudden, we were face to face.
“The first kiss was long and slow, like honey. As we eased out of it, my nerves shot up and my heart beat furiously. Something was happening between us,” she wrote.
Crawford suggested that shortly after, the two engaged in sexual activities.
“At the apartment we took off our clothes, and for the first time, we touched each other,” she wrote. “Caressing her and loving her felt like a dream.”
“She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us. Back in the ’80s, that’s how it felt.
“We wanted to be together,” Crawford told People. “And that meant just us.”
On how she dealt with moving on from Houston, Crawford said she “kept it safe.”
“We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever. 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.”
Though the romantic relationship was never confirmed, the speculation divided Houston’s close circle.
“Robyn loved Whitney,” she said.
Houston’s eldest brother Gary, however, doesn’t believe the rumours and admitted that he and his father were not fond of Crawford.
“I’ve never seen them do anything,” he said in the documentary. “But I know that she was something that I didn’t want my sister to be involved with.”
Houston herself even spoke about meeting Crawford in the Kevin Macdonald-directed film. She looked back on the summer that they met.
“I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is really going to be a trip this summer — I don’t have any friends,’ and then here comes Robyn with this beautiful, beautiful afro. She was tall and very statuesque and I was like, ‘Wow man.’
“I remember thinking I’ve known this person seems like all my life.”
On why she wrote the upcoming memoir, Crawford 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.”
A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston, will be released next Tuesday, Nov. 12.