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Robyn Crawford, Whitney Houston's best friend, opened up about her relationship with the late singer in her memoir "A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston," where she revealed that they had been romantic partners until the singer became famous.

Crawford had been Houston's confidante, protector, and best friend ever since they met in 1980, during their teenage years as counselors at an East Orange, New Jersey summer camp. When she first saw the singer, then nearly 17 she at 19, she had this overwhelming sense to protect her and so she told Houston, "I'm going to look out for you."

In a separate interview with NBC, Crawford revealed that it was during that summer that they kissed. She said that it just happened and remembered it felt "wonderful." Afterward, they spent the night together and that was when they touched. Crawford said that evening only brought them closer.

From then on, the pair had been inseparable, so much so, that people started questioning the real status of their relationship. Their closeness spurred relentless speculations about the singer's sexuality. Crawford remembered hearing from Houston that her mother Cissy became suspicious of their friendship because she thought "it wasn't natural for two women to be that close."

However, Crawford and Houston were more than just friends. They were also lovers. But they never talked about labels or identified themselves as lesbian or gay. What they wanted was to continue to live their lives and be together forever, "and that meant just us." So they kept their love affair private even after the singer decided to break the physical part of their relationship in 1982.

"She said we shouldn't be physical anymore because it would make our journey even more difficult," Crawford wrote in her memoir as quoted by People.

"She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us and back in the '80s that's how it felt. I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence," Crawford continued, adding that the singer broke it off by giving her a slate blue Bible.

They continued their friendship and vowed to stand by each other because they know in their hearts that they love each other.

Crawford, who is now a fitness trainer and lives with her partner Lisa Hintlemann, is opening up about her sexual relationship with Houston to clear things up and to "lift her legacy." She said she wanted to give her respect and "share the story of who she was before the fame."

Robyn Crawford
Whitney Houston had an intensely close relationship with her childhood friend Robyn Crawford (right) Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images