“I watched her rise to the top of her game and I felt compelled to share who that woman was behind all the fame,” Crawford, 58, says in a clip from her Dateline NBC interview, which aired on TODAY this Thursday, November 7.
Melvin, 40, then asks her why now, seven years after Houston’s overdose death, she is choosing to tell their story.
“I never envisioned speaking publicly about my life and then I asked myself the question, ‘What would Whitney want? Would she understand you know, the time is now?’” Crawford replies.
Speaking candidly of her relationship with Houston, Crawford says: “We were intimate on many levels, and all I can say is it was very deep and we were very connected. Our friendship was a deep friendship. In the early part of that friendship, it was physical.”
Melvin asks her who knew about their romance.
“I would say no one,” Crawford responds. “It was ours.”
Readers recall that Crawford's father spoke exclusively to RadarOnline.com in 2017 and confessed he's known about her secret romance with Houston for 40 years!
As Crawford wrote in her book, the physical aspect of their relationship came to a halt when Houston began to rise in the music industry.
“She said ‘I don't believe we should be physical anymore.’ The music business was a world that we were learning and we didn't want anything to interfere with where she was going,” Crawford explains.
In her memoir, she wrote that Houston — who she met when they were teenagers — even gifted her a Bible, and said that if they continued their romance, they would go to hell.
“I just felt I wouldn’t be losing much,” Crawford says when speaking of how it felt to lose that physical intimacy with Houston. “I still loved her the same and she loved me and that was good enough.”
The two remained best friends and housemates for years, and Crawford even began working for Houston as her creative director, but things took a turn when Houston married Bobby Brown. At the time, the singer fell into a deep downward spiral of drugs, and even after she welcomed daughter Bobbi Kristina, her life continued to crumble. It was at that point that Crawford realized she had to get away from Houston in order to save herself.
The two were estranged at the time when Houston died in 2012. “I felt my insides shattering” Crawford wrote in her book, recalling the moment she learned of her friend’s death.
The full interview airs on Dateline this Saturday, November 9 at 9/8c.