Whitney Houston's best friend, Robyn Crawford, was more than just a friend, she reveals in her new memoir. Crawford says the two women, who met as teens in 1980, were in love, though the physical aspect of the relationship ended in 1982. Houston had just signed her record deal with Clive Davis, Crawford writes in A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston, out Nov. 12 and excerpted in People. She gave Crawford a Bible and "said we shouldn’t be physical anymore, because it would make 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." Their friendship did spawn what People calls "relentless speculation" about Houston's sexuality, and ETOnline reports Houston's ex, Bobby Brown, alleged they were romantically involved in his own 2016 memoir.
Crawford writes that there was pushback from Houston's family: "Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close. But we were that close." NBC News reports that during a 2013 interview, Houston's mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, told Oprah Winfrey it "absolutely" would have bothered her had her daughter been gay. Their bond continued despite everything, Crawford says: "We wanted to be together, and that meant just us." She adds in the book, "We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever." "Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me," Crawford says. "We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other." But Houston's brother has previously ripped Crawford as an "opportunist," the Los Angeles Times reports. (Read more Whitney Houston stories.)