After first trying cocaine at age 14, Whitney Houston struggled with drugs all her life, her lover turned best friend and personal assistant, Robyn Crawford, claims in her no-holds-barred new book, A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston.
As a teen, the inseparable pair did cocaine together in their native New Jersey when they could find the money.
“We mostly relied on a local guy who would sometimes give us marijuana and blow,” Crawford wrote of their early partying days.
But when Houston found fame — and especially when she married bad boy Bobby Brown — Houston’s cocaine use spiraled out of control, Crawford claimed.
And sadly, her horrible habit led to her death at just 48 in 2012.
Crushed by her onetime confidante’s tragic demise, Crawford heard horror stories of her sad last days by the few people who still spoke to the increasingly erratic star.
Houston’s friend, gospel singer CeCe Winans, told Crawford about the last time she had seen or spoken to the singer in her Atlanta home.
“When she got there, she found her balled up on the floor in the center of the living room. When she kneeled down and put her arms around Whit’s body, she felt like skin and bones,” Crawford wrote. “She told her that if she kept on doing that stuff, she was going to kill herself.”
Winans took Houston to her Nashville home to sober her up, but Brown allegedly took her back home to Atlanta.
Houston eventually checked into rehab in California, Crawford wrote, but recovery just didn’t stick.
Before Crawford quit working for the star due to her erratic behavior, she witnessed Houston’s cocaine-induced meltdowns, rages and rock-bottom moments.
To read all about the superstar’s drug nightmare, scroll through Radar’s gallery.
Living A Lie
When Houston began her career, she was asked to participate in an anti-drug PSA with First Lady Nancy Reagan. Crawford said she called her out for being hypocritical. “People are going to you’re drug free and you’re not,” she allegedly told her. “It’s not right to say one thing in public, and do another in secret.”
Vows To Stop
Rising star Houston promised she would stop doing cocaine. “Where we’re going, this can’t go,” she told Crawford of her partying. Sadly, she didn’t stick to her promise.
‘The Greatest Drug Tour’
While on the Greatest Love Tour in 1986, drugs were everywhere, Crawford wrote. “Dealers would station themselves at every venue or hotel, ready to capitalize on the arrival of an entourage,” she wrote. “A band member dubbed it 'The Greatest Drug Tour.'"
On one night in 1987, Houston refused to stop doing cocaine after a bender, Crawford claimed. When her friend urged her to end the party, she flew into a rage, she said. “Take Robyn’s a** home before I kill her!” she screamed.
Begging For Help
Crawford said she attempted to warn Houston’s mother, Cissy, about her spiraling drug abuse. “I appreciate you telling me,” the star’s mother allegedly said.
Using Over Eddie
After being stood up on a date by then boyfriend Eddie Murphy, the despondent Houston went on a two-day drug bender, Crawford claimed. “Nippy didn’t return home that day, or the next. When she finally did, she was a wreck,” shaking and barely able to stand up,” she recalled. “Whitney was crying and asking, ‘Why don’t they like me?’ She’d been on drug binge and hadn’t slept or eaten.”
No, No, No To Rehab
After she married bad boy Bobby Brown in 1992, Houston’s drug use grew even worse, and Crawford said she tried again to get her help. According to Crawford, Houston’s producer Clive Davis told her father, John, that he wanted her to check into famed rehab center Silver Hill in Connecticut. But Houston refused to go to the facility. “I’m not ready to go to rehab,” she allegedly told her friend. “I don’t want to go.”
Davis then offered Houston the use of his Hamptons mansion to sober up with a private nurse. She said she would consider the opportunity to get well, but then disappeared into her bedroom for two days and never mentioned it again.
From Bad To Worse
Houston’s brother Michael suffered from addiction as well, Crawford claimed, and started to smoke crack around his famous sister. She asked him to try it.
Crawford eventually quit in 2000 due to Houston and Brown’s erratic behavior, and her inability to show up to rehearsals and performances. “They were strung out and out of their minds,” she said. “There was nothing I could do to make things any better.”
When Crawford learned of Houston’s death from a friend on February 11, 2012, she was horrified. “I felt my insides shattering,” she wrote. Though she drowned, officials claimed cocaine abuse and heart disease contributed to her tragic passing.