Whitney Houston’s closest friends believe she was in a lesbian relationship with her assistant.
In a documentary about her life, those closest to Whitney say she was in a relationship with Robyn Crawford, 56, the woman who spent 20 years by her side working for her.
Whitney: Can I Be Me examines the highs and lows of her glittering career, while examining who might be responsible for her tragic downfall and the drug habit that would go on to kill her.
It sees Ellin Lavar, who dressed the singer, and her security guard, Kevin Ammons, confess that Whitney was bisexual and in love with her assistant.
After Whitney died in 2012, her notorious ex-husband Bobby Brown said she might still be alive if she was allowed to be open about her sexuality.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, documentary maker Nick Broomfield credits Robyn for keeping Whitney ‘on the rails’ but believes her fans are too obsessed with the intimate details of their relationship
In the documentary, her former bodyguard David Roberts even said that Robyn and Brown would have physical fights over their shared loved of the singer.
Whitney Houston was believed to be in a lesbian relationship with her assistant Robyn Crawford (pictured left), who she first met age 16
Rumours about her sexuality
The filmmaker, whose movie about the legend airs on the BBC this weekend, finds it bizarre that Whitney’s fans are so interested in her sexuality and the nature of her relationship with Robyn.
He told MailOnline: ‘It’s almost like people want the condom or here’s the stained sheet. I don’t know what kind of conclusive proof one wants except this is the closest relationship for years that Whitney had.
‘They shared a house together; they often shared the same bed. I think the most important thing is that it was the most productive, supportive and creative relationship that she had for probably 15 years.’
In the movie Ellin states her belief that Whitney was bisexual, having feelings for both Robyn and her husband Bobby Brown.
Whitney was married to Bobby Brown from 1992-2007, and the films claims Bobby and Robyn hated each other because of their shared love for Whitney
The rise and fall of Whitney Houston
1963: Whitney Elizabeth Houston is born in Newark, New Jersey, the daughter of Cissy Houston, a gospel singer
1985: Whitney releases her self-titled debut album, the lead single You Give Good Love reaches number three in the charts and it later tops the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks
1986: Whitney wins her first Grammy for Saving All My Love for You and the next year her second album is released, with I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me) become a worldwide hit
1992: Now a huge star, Whitney marries singer Bobby Brown and their relationship is plagued by rumours of drug abuse. They have a daughter Bobbi Kristina in 1993. She also stars in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner
2012: After years of heavy touring, Whitney is found dead in a bathtub after drowning following a heart attack caused by years of drug abuse
Ellin says: ‘I don’t think she was gay, I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her… in that Whitney found safety and solace.’
A rift between Bobby and Robyn
Her former bodyguard David Roberts even said that Robyn and Brown would have physical fights over their shared loved of the singer.
‘Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford together were the equivalent of fire and water, petrol and a short fuse – they hated each other. Simple. They would battle for her affections and they would battle for her attention, mainly to identify with the hate they had for each other,’ he said.
‘There were numerous fights between Robyn and Bobby Brown, serious fights. Bobby and Robyn had some physical altercations and I think there were times when he wasn’t always the winner but then Whitney would come in between them and she would pour the oil in the trouble waters.’
Who could have saved Whitney?
Whitney died in 2012 when she drowned after suffering a massive heart attack, brought on by years of cocaine abuse.
Her friends and family – and even Bobby Brown – believe that she might still be alive if she was allowed to be with Robyn.
Robyn stopped working for Whitney in 2000 and friends believed she was pushed out by Whitney’s mother Cissy who disapproved of their romance
Nick said: ‘Bobby Brown loved Whitney enough to say if Robyn Crawford had been around he believed Whitney would still be alive. I think she did an amazing job of keeping her on the rails, keeping her more or less on time for interviews and that kind of thing.
‘Certainly the people closest to Whitney, like Bobby Brown and Patti Howard, all feel that Robyn got driven out. If she stayed around, Whitney would probably be around too.’
Robyn worked as Whitney’s assistant from 1979 and eventually earned the position of creative director before quitting in 2000.
Whitney’s family and friends believe Robyn was pushed out by her mother Cissy Houston, who disapproved of their romance.
Her background in Newark, New Jersey was said to be the start of Whitney’s drug problems
Robyn declined to be part of the film as Nick says she’s ‘moved on with her life’ since parting ways with Whitney, and is now married with children.
Who was to blame?
Whitney’s relationship with Robyn caused even more tension between the singer and Bobby Brown, who was six years younger than the singer and is often the one blamed for her downfall.
The film reveals that it was actually Whitney’s brothers who introduced her to drugs when they grew up in the tough streets of Newark, New Jersey.
Nick says it was record label boss Clive Davis who who was able to spin Whitney’s background and transform her into an artist beloved by white America.
Whitney began singing in church as a child and was later marketed to ‘white teenage girls’ by record boss Clive Davis
‘I’d always been fed the line that Bobby Brown had introduced her to drugs so it was a kind of a revelation that it was more the brothers from Newark,’ Nick said.
‘The fact that she grew up in Newark wasn’t something that was ever made anything of anyway, in a way I think everybody was surprised that she grew up in the hood, although it makes complete sense.
‘I think Clive Davis did such a brilliant job so it kind of made sense that Bobby Brown wasn’t the villain that he was portrayed. It’s amazing how effective that job that Clive Davis did was, he sold it and it worked. She was the darling of white American teenage girls.’
A violent group
Both the filmmaker and those he interviewed agree that the group surrounding the singer, including Bobby, Robyn, the family and even Whitney herself, were violent.
Nick said: ‘One of the things that surprised me is that he never came out in his defense. He pretty much was blamed for everything. Then there was the whole domestic violence thing too and I think everybody in that group was pretty violent with each other. I think Cissy [Houston, Whitney’s mother] was violent with Whitney.
Whitney died from drowning in 2012 after suffering a massive heart attack caused by years of cocaine abuse
‘There was a lot of fighting that went on, physical fighting, I think he was unfairly blamed for a lot of things. I don’t think he was by any means an angel but I think he genuinely loved her and they had a dysfunctional relationship.
‘I think they were un-dysfunctional in that they wanted to experience everything together and they went down this crazy ride together. I think that’s what they could blame him for and they were unable to support each other off addiction so they were not good for each other.
‘I don’t think he was a bad person, I think he was probably a good father and he cared and he was a philanderer and how many guys are like that. I think he just couldn’t keep it in his pants and caused her a lot of pain in that way.’
Whitney: Can I Be Me airs at 9pm on BBC Two on September 2
Nick Broomfield believes Whitney and Bobby were both as bad as each other and he was unfairly blamed for her demise