The late Whitney Houston's longtime friend, Robyn Crawford, is opening up about the complicated relationship she had with Bobby Brown.
The late Whitney Houston's longtime friend, Robyn Crawford, is opening up about the complicated relationship she had with the singer's husband, Bobby Brown.
Crawford sat down for an intimate chat with Lena Waithe for OprahMag.com about Crawford's new memoir, A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston, and she talked about being Houston's maid of honor when she married Brown in 1992. Crawford said that although she and Houston had had a physical relationship when they met as teenagers, by that point, they were long past being romantically involved. Still, she did feel a sense of sadness on Houston's big day.
"But I will say I did feel that I was losing her in some way," she says. "Because back then it was very much when a woman gets married, you lose them, because they are committed to their marriage entirely. So, I did feel that, looking at her on her wedding day bonding her life with someone else...I did see that in her eyes that I was losing her."
Crawford says despite her own complicated relationship with Houston, she only wanted the best for the singer when it came to her marriage.
"I really wanted this to work for my friend," she says. "I wanted whatever vision she dreamed for herself -- I wanted her to be happy."
"Look, I heard the rumors about Bobby just like she did," she adds. "I didn't know anything else about him beyond what everyone else knew. That he was a womanizer, that he was over here with this one, that one. But he was obsessed with Whitney. Later on, though, I realized that Bobby never knew Nip [Whitney's childhood nickname]. He never got to be her friend."
Crawford says she was actually more disappointed when prior to her relationship with Brown, Houston didn't tell her about secretly dating Jermaine Jackson. In her book, Crawford claims Houston and Jackson secretly dated while he was still married.
"When I found out she was dating Jermaine Jackson, I was more disappointed that she felt she couldn't talk to me like a girlfriend," she explains. "I mean, he's a Jackson! We grew up loving the Jacksons. If we were friends, why shouldn’t we be able to talk about that?"
"I write about that night when I confronted her about what was going on between them, how I could feel that there was something between them," she continues. "So if you want to talk about the physical part between Whitney and I ... yes, I could feel that she was being physical with other people, starting with Jermaine. ... I didn't need her to tell me. And I cried."
As for how she felt about Houston being in relationships with other men given their history, Crawford says she really didn't have a choice.
"It wasn't, 'Are you okay with this?' I had to be okay with it, because we had already said what was best for us, what was best for the journey," she says about putting Houston's career before anything else.
Still, she does admit to losing her cool on at least one occasion.
"Emotions are emotions, which is why she just stood there and let me let out my anger by tearing that room up," she recalls. "And then she said: 'Okay, now clean it up.'"
But when it comes to Crawford's relationship with Brown, she says reports of their dislike for another were exaggerated.
"Oh, I was annoyed with him on that tour, because he was annoying," she acknowledges. "But we were cool. There were no Everlast shorts and boxing gloves and all that stuff people like to say about me and Bobby. He never raised his hand to me. Now, I never had a real substantial conversation with him, either -- the kind where you connect with someone, sit down, and talk to them. I would just see Bobby perform. That's what I'd call it. I'd see him behave in a way that...maybe, it was jealousy, or you might mistake that for him being protective of Whitney. But I didn't have this conversation with Whitney about it. And I write in the book, I’d buy gifts for someone from Whitney. And Bobby would flip. When I mean flip...that’s when he'd get in my face. And Whitney wouldn't say anything."
Crawford says eventually, she knew she had to make the decision to leave Houston's team.
"I had been dealing with a lot of things with [Brown] over the years," she says. "Him answering her phone and hanging it up. A lot of jealousy. And it wasn’t necessary."
As for how Houston felt about her resigning, she shares, "I think she felt just like I felt. That it was time. I didn't feel like I was being effective; I didn't have her ear anymore. We had been off track for a long time. She called me after I handed in my resignation, and she said we would talk more. But that talk never happened. You know, Whitney didn't like confrontation. I wanted to meet someplace away from distractions, because there were always several people at that house. But there was no downtime at her and Bobby’s house...no peace, no quiet."
ET has reached out to Brown regarding Crawford's book.
Brown has spoken favorably about Crawford in the past. In 2016, he acknowledged Crawford and Houston's relationship, telling Us Weekly, "I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today. She didn’t have close friends with her anymore."
Earlier this month, ET spoke with songwriter Diane Warren, who wrote numerous songs for the late singer, and she echoed Brown's thoughts.
"I think personally -- I mean, not that I know anything -- but I think if Robyn would have been there, I think Whitney would still be around," Warren told ET at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation's Patron of the Artists Awards. "She really cared about her."
Watch the video below for more:
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