Whitney Houston’s friends have spoken out about claims she was in a relationship with her female assistant Robyn Crawford, with one pal insisting the singer was bisexual.
The revelations come in explosive new docu-film Whitney: Can I Be Me, which explores how close she was to Robyn Crawford.
The films reveals never before seen backstage footage of the superstar, and sheds new light on decades of rumours about her sexuality.
Whitney’s dresser Ellin Lavar says:
I don’t think she was gay, I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her … in that Whitney found safety and solace.”
Rumours followed the women throughout their careers, including while the singer was married to Bobby Brown.
The star’s former bodyguard David Roberts has claimed Robyn and Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown used to clash over their affections for the ‘Greatest Love Of All’ singer.
Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford together were the equivalent of fire and water, petrol and a short fuse – they hated each other. Simple. They would battle for her affections and they would battle for her attention, mainly to identify with the hate they had for each other.”
Documentary maker Nick Broomfield believes Whitney and Robyn’s relationship was the “closest” she had “for 15 years”, and insisted they often shared a bed together.
He told MailOnline:
It’s almost like people want the condom or here’s the stained sheet. I don’t know what kind of conclusive proof one wants except this is the closest relationship for years that Whitney had. They shared a house together; they often shared the same bed. I think the most important thing is that it was the most productive, supportive and creative relationship that she had for probably 15 years.”
In 2015, it was claimed Whitney was the victim of an extortion plot over the alleged lesbian affair. It was claimed in book ‘Whitney & Bobbi Kristina: The Deadly Price of Fame’ that a heavily-redacted FBI file on the late singer stated she was asked for $250,000 from a Chicago lawyer on the night before the premiere of her 1992 movie The Bodyguard.
The lawyer reportedly told an FBI agent their information included “knowledge of intimate details regarding Whitney Houston’s romantic relationships” and that they would “go public with the information”. But her father John Houston was said to have “settled the matter by sending a confidentiality agreement almost immediately”.
The singer repeatedly denied rumours she was in a relationship with her close companion Crawford.
Following her daughter’s death, Houston’s mother revealed to Oprah Winfrey that had her daughter been gay, she would “absolutely” have had a problem with it.
During the interview, Oprah read the section of the book where Cissy Houston wrote: “I knew I didn’t want Robyn near my daughter and I told Nippy [the family’s pet name for Whitney] that.”
Questioned by Oprah, Cissy Houston admitted she “didn’t really like” Crawford, saying she spoke “disrespectful”.
When Oprah asked if she would have been “bothered” if her daughter was a lesbian, she replied: “Absolutely.”
Whitney Houston is an icon whose songs are still played all over the world. Who hasn’t belted I’m Every Woman to boost self-confidence after a breakup, or shed a tear as someone on America’s Got Talent/American Idol/X Factor sings, I Will Always Love You.
But did you know Houston was queer?
Many people don’t. But a new documentary, Whitney: Can I Be Me, dives in-depth into Houston’s tragic love for her best friend, which blossomed into an affair that continued during Houston’s marriage.
Houston met Robyn Crawford – who today would probably be called a stud – in 1979, when they were both teenagers trying to make it in New Jersey. They formed a fast connection that went deeper than friendship.
Houston’s security personnel, Kevin Ammons, says, “Robyn and Whitney were like twins.”
But then he elaborates, shifting away from the platonic dimension of their relationship.
They were inseparable. They had a bond, and Bobby Brown [Houston’s husband] could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship.”
In June 2016, Brown admitted that Houston had had an affair with Crawford, confirming rumors that had been swirling about the two women since they’d first met. He went on to say that Houston was bisexual and that after fourteen years of marriage, he knew the ins and outs of her personal life. Although Houston had always denied romantic involvement with Crawford, Brown felt it necessary to come forward.
He also made the heartbreaking statement that Houston’s homophobic mother had kept Crawford and Houston separated, and that if the two women had been allowed to explore their relationship, Houston would be alive today.
Unfortunately, while the documentary provides great insight into the singer’s personal life, these revelations are too little too late. If Brown is to be believed, then Houston’s death is, in part, another tragic casualty of homophobia. One can only wish that she and Crawford had been allowed to be themselves.
A new documentary about Whitney Houston has alleged the late singer was bisexual (Music News)
Whitney: Can I Be Me premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, and saw the music legend’s nearest and dearest open up about their relationships with her.
Among the film’s contributors was Whitney’s best friend and assistant Robyn Crawford, who is alleged to have had an intimate relationship with the I Will Always Love You star.
The singer’s former stylist Ellin Lavar addresses Whitney’s sexuality in the film, saying:
I don’t think she was gay, I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her… in that Whitney found safety and solace.”
Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven is working on a new film called the Blessed Virgin which will be about a lesbian nun with miraculous powers who falls in love with another sister.
The producers said it is based on the life of 17th-century Italian nun Benedetta Carlini, who caused a sensation when she claimed to see visions of Jesus Christ.
Verhoeven will present the project at the Cannes film festival next month, production company SBS International told AFP.
The new film, adapted from “Immodest Acts — The Life of a lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy” by the American historian Judith Brown, will star Belgian actress Virginie Efira.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of coming out on her sitcom Ellen, Ellen DeGeneres will air a reunion with several of the stars who helped bring the episode to life.
The hour-long anniversary special that will air on her talk show this week pays tribute to The Puppy Episode, in which DeGeneres’s character Ellen Morgan came out and became the first-ever gay or lesbian lead character on television.
In a sneak peek at the reunion show, Laura Dern, who played DeGeneres’s love interest in the episode, articulated lovingly about being there for that piece of LGBT history. (Advocate)
And finally, this amazing tweet about coming out proves mothers are always right. Jareliz Diaz – now 20 – tweeted back in 2013 that her mother had asked if she was a lesbian because she had appreciated the female form.
But much to the surprise of her followers, four years later, on 22 April 2017, she added that her mum had been right all along. (Pink News)
New York City is preparing for one of its most entertaining and thought-provoking events, the annual Tribeca Film Festival.
Now in its 16th year, the festival brings a plethora of premieres from around the world, as well as retrospective screenings of film classics, an immersive arcade of virtual reality, and some red carpet glitter.
Included in the line-up this year are several feature narratives and documentaries of interest to women and the LGBTQ community.
Whitney. “Can I Be Me”
Catch Nick Broomfield and Rudi Dolezal’s exploration of Whitney Houston’s career and personal life before it comes to Showtime.
Love The Sinner
Originally titled “One Pulse”, Devaney and Gandbhir’s short explores the evangelical roots of homophobia in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting that claimed 49 lives.
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
U.S.A (Director: Alexandra Dean) Hollywood screen siren Hedy Lamarr was considered one of the most beautiful stars of the 1940s, and enjoyed both a big gay following and rumors about her sexuality. But most of her fans had no idea she came up with a secret communication system to help the Allies beat the Nazis in WWII, a little known facet explored in this fascinating documentary.
In this short directed by Marianne Amelinckx, Julia (Iruaní Gómez) goes back to the pool and remembers that sometimes life challenges ourselves to keep going and make decisions.
Saturday Church focuses young, queer Ulysses as he discovers an underground community where he finds support and creative inspiration.
The cast includes Margot Bingham, Regina Taylor, Marquis Rodriguez, MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Alexia Garcia.
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
Also making its premiere at Tribeca, this documentary about the pioneering trans activist features unearthed footage and rediscovered interviews about the “street queen” who helped start the Stonewall riots.
The Argentinean film written and directed by Julia Solomonoff, Nobody’s Watching, challenges identity and questions how we perform our preferences for a cultural context.
Cate Blanchett portrays 13 different characters all railing against art in Julian Rosefeldt’s brilliant (anti) art film Manifesto.
Gina Gershon and Rebecca Hall star in Permission, a film about negotiating an open relationship.
Taylor Schilling stars in Take Me, a darkly comic crime caper.
The Handmaid’s Tale
Hulu’s highly anticipated TheHandmaid’s Tale debuts, followed by a conversation with the dynamic cast including Elisabeth Moss and Samira Wiley.
One Percent More Humid
The story centres on Iris (Temple) and Catherine (Garner), college-age childhood friends who reunite for a humid New England summer to help each other cope with the unimaginable – a friend has died in a car accident, an accident which they both survived.
One Percent More Humid, is written and directed by Liz W. Garcia.
For many years, Whitney Houston was long rumoured to have had a secret same-sex romance with her best friend and assistant, Robyn Crawford.
Yet, the singer and her family strongly denied those claims – until now.
In his new memoir, Every Little Step, Bobby Brown has alleged that his late ex-wife was in fact bisexual and did have relationship with Crawford.
However, he says the relationship ended been because Houston’s family, including her mother, Cissy Houston, didn’t approve of the relationship — even insisting Crawford be fired.
Back in 2013, talking to Oprah Winfrey, Cissy stated that it “absolutely” would have bothered her if her daughter was gay, and she would not have condoned it.
But Bobby believes these actions were a contributor to Houston’s tragic.
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.”
Houston and Crawford met as teens when they both worked at a community center in East Orange, New Jersey, and Crawford became her assistant and later creative director, traveling the world with the star.
After Houston’s February 2012 death from an overdose of cocaine, marijuana, Benadryl and Xanax, Crawford wrote in a piece for Esquire that the superstar was “a loyal friend” who “looked like an angel. I loved her laughter, and that’s what I’ll miss most.”
One of the world’s best selling artists, there are few souls over the age of 20 who don’t know Whitney Houston’s name. Massively talented, you’ve probably danced around the room to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)’ or had a little cry to ‘I Will Always Love You’ (which is also the best selling single by a woman in history).
That’s why it was devastating to so many fans when she passed away in 2012. The singer had faced a well documented battle with drugs during her career, something which contributed to her unfortunate passing.
But, as her drug use and chart-topping hits garnered plenty of headlines, another scandal laid in wait. Oft-rumoured was that Whitney Houston’s childhood friend, Robyn Crawford, was also her lesbian lover. And in ‘Whitney’, the upcoming Lifetime movie about her life, Crawford is set to feature.
Yolonda Ross, the actress who plays Robyn Crawford in the film told The Daily Beast that:
“It’s interesting how that, which was a thing that was actually written in the press at one time, was squashed and brushed away when all the other stuff happened in her life later. It’s an interesting part of her life. Whether they were together or not, they were people who were so important to each other.”
As the (alleged) story goes, Whitney and Robyn were incredibly close and in a TIME magazine interview in 1987 Whitney told the publication that Robyn is “sister [she] never had.” According to gossip mongers, the two did date and LGBT activist Peter Tatchell suggested that not only were they an item but that Whitney later married Bobby Brown in 1992 to quell the gay rumours that had run rampant in the late 80s.
Throughout her life though, Whitney denied it, once saying that:
“People see Robyn with me, and they draw their own conclusions. Anyway, whose business is it if you’re gay or like dogs? What others do shouldn’t matter. Let people talk. It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m not gay. I don’t care.”
Meanwhile, following Whitney’s passing Robyn wrote in Esquire:
“And we went around the world. I was her assistant and then her executive assistant and then her creative director. I was her point person for the day-to-day. I traveled all around the world first-class and anyone who ever worked for her will tell you her checks never bounced. You knew she was going to take care of you. She wasn’t going to be in a five-star hotel while you were in a two. I flew the Concorde the way some people ride the bus. She shared the fruits, and she changed a lot of lives. The record company, the band members, her family, her friends, me — she fed everybody. Deep down inside that’s what made her tired.
…And that was Whitney. She could not pick up the phone, and that meant it was too painful. I have never spoken about her until now. And she knew I wouldn’t. She was a loyal friend, and she knew I was never going to be disloyal to her. I was never going to betray her. Now I can’t believe that I’m never going to hug her or hear her laughter again. I loved her laughter, and that’s what I miss most, that’s what I miss already.”
So with a firm denial, an unclear obituary and more than a handful of rumours to go on, the producers of the Whitney movie couldn’t exactly state for certain that Whitney and Robyn dated. There is more than a bit of subtext in the film as they make it clear that the two women could have been a romantic pair.
You’ll be able to see it for yourself when the film premieres on Lifetime on January 17th, 2015.
Yolonda Ross is set to play Whitney Houston‘s longtime good friend and assistant, who was also rumored to be her lesbian lover – Robyn Crawford in the Lifetime movie, “I Will Always Love You, The Whitney Houston Story”.
Not a stranger to playing gay, Yolonda made her feature film debut in the Award winning independent film “Stranger Inside” which was directed by Cheryl Dunye in 2001. She also stared in Slippery Slope.
The Whitney Houston biopic is being directed by Angela Bassett (her debut), starring Yaya DaCosta Alafia as Houston, and Arlen Escarpeta as Bobby Brown.
The film will chronicle the headline-making partnership between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown – from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.
Bassett is directing the film, which is tentatively titled “Whitney Houston,” from a script penned by Shem Bitterman (“Betty & Coretta” – the Lifetime Original Movie that Bassett starred in last year).
“I really just want to tell a story about a boy and a girl who fell in love. And these are the words and this is the place, and these are the people on the outside, you know? And I want to be as honest as I can about doing that.”
The film is scheduled to debut in 2015.
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