Whitney Houston had a “teenage” relationship with her longtime assistant, Robyn Crawford, according to music producer Clive Davis.
“They did have a teenage, one-year affair,” Davis told Extra during the promotional tour for the new film, I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
The long-rumored secret relationship is making headlines again because it’s included in the biopic starring Naomi Ackie, which opened today.
The film is produced by Davis and Houston’s sister-in-law Pat Houston.
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Despite claims over the years that the failure of Houston’s relationship with Crawford caused the superstar singer to turn to drugs, Davis insisted that wasn’t the case.
“There have been so many articles that have… attempted to trace her addiction to being a frustrated lesbian or never dated a man before Bobby, all of which was totally inaccurate,” Davis said in the interview.
He added, “I know of several men that she dated before Bobby. I mean, she did see Jermaine Jackson for two years.”
Crawford confirmed she and Houston were romantic partners in her 2019 memoir, “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.”
“We wanted to be together,” Crawford wrote in an excerpt published by People, “and that meant just us.”
The two met when they were teenagers at a summer camp in East Orange, New Jersey in 1980.
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Crawford said they developed a close bond and she told Houston, “I’m going to look out for you.”
Houston’s longtime friend said they became physical, but that part of their relationship ended in 1982, after the singer signed a deal with Clive Davis at Arista Records.
“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” Crawford wrote, “because it would make our journey even more difficult.”
Houston would have been 19 years old at the time.
Crawford claimed there was pressure to end the relationship from Houston’s family, including her mother Cissy Houston.
As Houston became an international superstar, Crawford worked as her assistant and creative director. The two remained friends for decades, leading to speculation that their relationship was romantic.
“We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay,” wrote Crawford. “We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”
Houston died at age 48 in 2012, from drowning due to the effects of heart disease and cocaine intoxication.
Watch the Clive Davis interview below.