For years, rumors about Whitney Houston’s sexuality have swirled and now a new documentary details the “Run to You” singer’s alleged relationship with her best friend and assistant, Robyn Crawford.
The documentary, Whitney: Can I Be Me, premiered on Wednesday at the Tribeca Film Festival. It reportedly shows never-before-seen footage captured throughout Houston’s life, both on and off the stage, People reports.
Crawford doesn’t appear to be directly involved with the new documentary, but the work offers a sensitive, yet edgy look into the star’s relationship with Crawford.
The work features in-depth interviews with family members, friends and those closest to Houston, both new and archival. The media outlet also said the work, “points convincingly to signs that Crawford’s relationship with Whitney was more than platonic, and that her eventual exile from Houston’s life was an overt factor in the singer’s undoing.”
“I don’t think she was gay, I think she was bisexual,” Houston’s stylist and longtime friend, Ellin Lavar, reportedly says in the film. “Robyn provided a safe place for her…in that Whitney found safety and solace.”
Houston met Crawford as a teenager in East Orange, New Jersey. The film portrays her as being placed in the middle of ongoing tension between Crawford and her husband of 15 years, Bobby Brown.
“Robyn and Whitney were like twins,” Kevin Ammons, who worked security for Houston said. “They were inseparable. They had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship.”
David Roberts, a former bodyguard of Houston’s, also noted the tension between Brown and Crawford.
“They’d battle for her affections. Bobby and Robyn had some physical altercations and there were times where he wasn’t always the winner. But then Whitney would always come and pour oil over troubled waters,” he said.
Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston told Oprah Winfrey in 2013 that it “absolutely” would have bothered her if her daughter was gay. She also addressed Houston’s relationship with Crawford in her 2013 memoir, Remembering Whitney.
“I just didn’t want her with my daughter,” she wrote. “I know nothing about a romantic relationship. That’s what everybody said but they didn’t know either.”