Singer Whitney Houston’s rumored bisexual relationship with her best friend and former assistant Robyn Crawford is the topic of the new documentary “Whitney: Can I Be Me,” which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday.
The film features new and old interviews with Whitney’s inner circle of friends and family, including her stylist and friend Ellin Lavar, who claimed, "I don’t think [Whitney] was gay, I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her… in that Whitney found safety and solace.”
According to Lavar, Whitney’s life started to spiral after Robyn decided to step away. "That was the downfall of of Whitney. Robyn was the person who was keeping her together."
Whitney and Robyn had met when they were teenagers in New Jersey. Robyn would become part of Whitney’s entourage when she reached superstardom, even being in her wedding to Bobby Brown.
Kevin Ammons, who was on Whitney’s security team, shared, "Robyn and Whitney were like twins. They were inseparable. They had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship.”
Her former bodyguard David Roberts commented on the contentious relationship between Bobby and Robyn, saying, "Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford were like fire and ice. They hated each other. They’d battle for [Whitney’s] 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.”
Last year, Bobby confirmed that Whitney was in a bisexual relationship with Robyn, telling Us Weekly, "I know. We were married for 14 years. There are some things we talked about that were personal to us.”
"I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney's life, Whitney would still be alive today,” Bobby shared in his memoir. "She didn't have close friends with her anymore.” Listen.
Whitney’s mom Cissy also commented on a possible relationship with Robyn in her 2013 memoir “Remembering Whitney.” Of the romance rumors, she said, "I just didn’t want her with my daughter. I know nothing about a romantic relationship. That’s what everybody said but they didn’t know either.”
That same year, Cissy also told Oprah that it would “absolutely” bother her if Whitney was gay.
When Whitney died in 2012, Robyn penned an obituary for Esquire, writing, "I loved her laughter, and that’s what I’ll miss most.”