SOUTH AFRICA & WORLD

WHITNEY’S BEST FRIEND FINALLY SPEAKS

Whitney Houston’s closest confidante Robyn Crawford has finally spoken about their secret romance, seven years after the singer’s sudden death at 48.

‘It was during that first summer that we met, was the first time our lips touched. And it wasn’tanything planned, it just happened.

‘And it felt wonderful. And then, not long after that, we spent the night together. And that evening was the night that we touched. And that just brought us closer,” she told Dateline NBC. Crawford has also recounted the more than three decades she spent by Houston’s side in her forthcoming memoir A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.

Crawford was 19 years old when she met Houston, then almost 17, while they were working as counselors at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey, in 1980.

At the time Crawford promised her new best friend: ‘I’m going to look out for you.’ She kept that promise as Houston shot to global fame over the following two decades. However, their relationship shifted from romantic to platonic after Houston got her big break when she signed with music legend Clive Davis.

Crawford said Houston ended the physical part of their relationship one day in 1982, giving her a blue Bible to soften the blow.

‘She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore because it wouldmake our journey even more difficult,’ Crawford writes.

‘She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us, and back in the ’80s that’s how it felt.’

Crawford said that after Houston announced she wanted to end their romance, she respected her wishes. ‘I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence,’ she wrote.

The pair maintained a friendship so close it fueled years of speculation about Houston’s sexuality.

‘We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,’ Crawford explained.

Crawford now works as a fitness instructor and lives a quiet life with her partner, talent agency executive Lisa Hintlemann, and their two adopted children.

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