The film, Whitney: Can I Be Me, which premiered Wednesday at the Tribeca Film Festival, explores the singer's mysterious relationship with longtime best friend and assistant, asserting that the pair was much more than friends by the end.
"I don’t think she was gay, I think she was bisexual," Houston's pal and stylist Ellin Lavar said in the documentary, adding "Robyn provided a safe place for her…in that Whitney found safety and solace."
But Whitney's husband Bobby Brown soon became a wrench in the mix, the film claims.
"Robyn and Whitney were like twins," said Kevin Ammons, who worked on Houston's security detail. "They were inseparable. They had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship."
"Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford were like fire and ice. They hated each other," David Roberts, Whitney’s former bodyguard, said. "They’d battle for her 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."
When Robyn was no longer in Whitney's life, that's when her downward spiral began, according to Lavar. "That was the downfall of of Whitney. Robyn was the person who was keeping her together."
As Radar readers know, Houston met Crawford in East Orange, N.J., in 1979 and named her a "personal assistant" when the diva’s career skyrocketed in the 1980s.
Though Crawford had nothing to do with the documentary's production, in an interview for Esquire after Houston died, she hinted at why she believes her friend turned away from her 12 years ago: the vulnerable star’s reluctance to reopen emotional wounds.
"When people left her or were told to leave, they could never believe that Whitney would never call them, but she never did," said Crawford who quit her job in 2000. "She was working hard to keep herself together and I think she felt if she admitted any feeling of sadness or weakness, she would crumble...That was Whitney, she could not pick up the phone and that meant it was too painful."
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