Whitney Houston’s lover reveals they stopped talking after the star wed ‘annoying’ Bobby Brown
Whitney Houston’s best friend of 30 years Robyn Crawford has opened up about the rift that formed between them after the singer wed Bobby Brown, and admitted that she doesn’t know if the starlet would still be alive if they stayed in each other’s lives.
Crawford sat down with TODAY’s Craig Melvin on Monday for her first live interview since speaking publicly about her brief romance with Houston, seven years after the singer’s tragic death at 48.
The 58-year-old described seeing Houston’s behavior change after she tied the knot with Brown in 1992. She revealed that she was ‘uncomfortable’ with the ‘disputes’ that plagued their marriage, and said it was hard for Houston to handle the relentless press coverage of the tumultuous relationship.
The interview turned tense when Melvin brought up Crawford’s decision to leave Houston’s ‘inner circle’.
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Whitney Houston’s best friend of 30 years Robyn Crawford opened up about the rift that formed between them after the singer wed Bobby Brown during a Monday interview on TODAY
Crawford described seeing Houston change after she tied the knot with Brown in 1992, revealing that she was ‘uncomfortable’ with the ‘disputes’ that plagued their marriage
Crawford, 58, broke her silence about their brief secret romance for the first time last week, seven years after Houston’s sudden death at 48. The pair are pictured in an undated photo
‘You left the inner circle as a result of Bobby Brown,’ Melvin said.
‘That’s not true,’ Crawford replied, before conceding: ‘Bobby was annoying. He was very annoying.’
‘So why did you two end up falling out?’ Melvin pressed, noting that Crawford didn’t speak to Houston for 15 years.
‘Whitney and I didn’t fall out. I was always there for her, she knew that’ Crawford said with hint of frustration.
‘We were never estranged. Estranged means someone calculated you don’t come here. That is not true.
‘I moved on because I felt I had done all I could do, but she knew where to find me.’
When asked whether Brown had anything to do with her decision to leave Houston’s team, Crawford said: ‘Bobby had something to do with the moment where I said I had enough.’
Melvin followed up: ‘Do you think that if you had been as close as you were to her in the ’80s that Whitney might still be alive today?’
She responded: ‘You know what, I don’t know what would happen, what would have happened if I would have stayed.
‘What I do know is that my love for her and the bond that we had allows me to sit here today.’
Crawford said she was supportive of Houston’s decision to marry Brown, but conceded that he was part of the reason that she decided to leave the singer’s team
Crawford was Houston’s maid of honor at her wedding to singer Bobby Brown in 1992
Crawford spoke publicly about the years she spent by Houston’s side for the first time last week, ahead of the release of her memoir, A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.
She 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.
The pair shared a secret romantic relationship for about two years before Houston’s career began to take off.
Crawford recounted how Whitney came to her one day in 1982, around the time that she signed a record deal with Clive Davis, and said: ‘I don’t think we should be physical anymore.’
‘The music business was a world we were learning,’ Crawford said. ‘We didn’t want anything to interfere with where she was going.’
Asked whether she was angry about Houston’s decision, Crawford said no.
‘I just felt that I wouldn’t be losing much. I still loved her the same and she loved me,’ she said, adding: ‘We were intimate on many levels.’
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
Crawford and Houston’s romantic relationship became a platonic one around the time that the singer signed with music legend Clive Davis in 1983. In the years after that, the pair (above in 1988) maintained a friendship so close it fueled frenzied speculation about Houston’s sexuality
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
For years after Crawford and Houston broke off the physical aspect of their relationship, the pair maintained a friendship so close it fueled extensive speculation about Houston’s sexuality.
‘We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,’ Crawford explained in her book.
‘We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever. We wanted to be together, and that meant just us.’
Crawford opened up about her relationship with Houston in her forthcoming memoir A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston
She said the romantic connection was just one piece of her lasting bond with Houston.
‘Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me,’ Crawford wrote.
‘We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.’
Houston went on to marry Brown in 1992, with Crawford by her side as her maid of honor.
During Monday’s interview, Crawford explained that she supported Houston’s decision to marry Brown.
‘This was a choice of hers, of someone that she said she loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with,’ she said.
The couple’s tumultuous marriage – punctuated by bitter fights and Houston’s drug use – frequently made headlines, and they divorced in 2007.
Houston died aged 48 in 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. A coroner’s report indicated the singer, who struggled with substance abuse, had accidentally drowned in the bathtub due to a combination of heart disease and cocaine use.
Houston (left) and Crawford (right) are seen with the singer’s husband Bobby Brown and another woman at an undated event in New York City
Crawford addressed speculation over her decision to speak out about her relationship with Houston seven years after her death during Monday’s interview.
‘I savored my memories working with Whitney. When I think of her I think of the rise and how beautiful it was and the person behind that.
‘That spirit, that strong steadfast spirit that she had, it was a possession of hers, and fast forward to the struggles that she had, for me it began to cover her, that person that I knew behind the gowns. I could always see her.
She said she wanted to share her version of Houston with the world to counteract the negativity surrounding the starlet’s troubled marriage and her drug dependence.
‘I felt like all that she had left us, all the accolades, all the awards were like she was covered with all the tragedy,’ Crawford said.
‘Her legacy was just covered, and I just wanted to reach and pick her up, take everyone into the Whitney that I know that shows this career who was ready for this career, who elevated to heights that one could only dream of.
‘I wanted to lift her legacy where she could hold it.’
Crawford also addressed an allegation from a 2018 documentary about Houston having been molested as a child by her cousin Dee Dee Warwick.
‘[Houston] never mentioned to me that she was molested by Dee Dee and we talked a lot about our families,’ Crawford said.
‘She shared her concerns about her family and disappointments and the love of her family and if there was any truth to that, I would know about it.’
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.
Crawford now works as a fitness instructor and lives a quiet life with her partner, talent agency executive Lisa Hintlemann (above together in 2003), and their two adopted children