In an interview with NBC's Craig Melvin on Today, Crawford opened up about her physical relationship with the iconic singer ahead of the release of her upcoming memoir, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston.
While Crawford noted that "no one" knew about her physical relationship with Houston when it began in 1980 because "it was ours," she said that she is now ready to tell their story in honor of her late friend, who died in 2012.
"I watched her rise to the top of her game and I felt compelled to share who that woman was behind all the fame," Crawford told Today. "I never envisioned speaking publicly about my life and then I asked myself the question, 'What would Whitney want? Would she understand [that] the time is now?'"
Crawford went on to describe the relationship itself, saying, "We were intimate on many levels and all I can say is that it was very deep and we were very connected."
In a previous clip of her Today interview, Crawford said that her and Houston's "deep friendship" was physical when they met while serving as summer camp counselors.
"It was during that first summer that we met. That was the first time that our lips touched," she said. "It wasn't anything planned, it just happened, and it felt wonderful."
"And then, not long after that, we spent the night together. That evening was the night that we touched and that just brought us closer," she continued. "I was in that moment, it was ours… she just came into my life all of the sudden, I didn't know how long it was gonna last, but I was just enjoying the moment. And that's what we did. We just enjoyed it."
In excerpts from her memoir, which were released by People, Crawford described her first physical experiences with Houston in more detail.
"We talked and talked and then all of a sudden, we were face to face," she writes. "The first kiss was long and slow, like honey. As we eased out of it, my nerves shot up and my heart beat furiously. Something was happening between us."
"At the apartment we took off our clothes, and for the first time, we touched each other," she continues. "Caressing her and loving her felt like a dream."
According to Crawford, Houston ended the pair's physical relationship in 1982, prior to her rise as a superstar.
"She said, 'I don't believe we should be physical anymore,'" Crawford recalled to Today. "The music business was a world that we were learning and we didn't want anything to interfere with where she was going."
"I just felt that I wouldn't be losing much," she added of her reaction to Houston's directive. "I still loved her the same and she loved me. And that was good enough."
In the People excerpts of her memoir, Crawford further details how and why the physical aspect of her relationship with Houston came to an end.
"She 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."
"Whitney told me her mother said it wasn't natural for two women to be that close, but we were that close," she adds.
The rest of NBC's interview with Crawford will air in a special, A Song for Whitney, on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9/8c. A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston will hit shelves on Nov. 12.