Robyn Crawford, Whitney Houston's closest friend and long-rumoured lover, has finally spoken out in a tell-all memoir, addressing the truth of her relationship with the late superstar.
In her book, A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston, Crawford confirms the rumours, telling fans of their love story.
According to excerpts published in People, Crawford met Houston when she was 19 and Houston was 17, while they were both working as counselors at a New Jersey summer camp in 1980.
Crawford writes: "We wanted to be together, and that meant just us.
"The physical part of our friendship happened along the way and it was just as beautiful. We were on a journey together and and we were connected.
"You could tell Whitney and I were tight. It wasn't all about our sleeping together. We could be naked. We could be bare and didn't have to hide. We could trust each other with our secrets, our feelings, and who we were. We were friends. We were lovers. We were everything to each other. We weren't falling in love. We just were. We had each other. We were one: That's how it felt."
Crawford even details the pair's first kiss and first item getting intimate, both of which happened that same summer.
"We talked and talked. And then all of a sudden, we were face to face. 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. Caressing her and loving her felt like a dream."
However, Crawford says Houston ended the physical aspect of their relationship soon after signing a record deal in 1982. She told Crawford "it would make our journey even more difficult".
"She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us and back in the '80s that's how it felt," says Crawford, adding: "I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence."
Crawford also says Houston's family - particularly her mother - were against the relationship saying, "Whitney told me her mother said it wasn't natural for two women to be that close. But we were that close."
"We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.
"Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me. We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other."
Crawford says her hope is that by writing her memoir, she can show people who Houston really was, "to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship."