According to Brown, Houston was indeed in a relationship with her friend and assistant, Robyn Crawford, and believes she may have denied the rumors due to her mother’s strict religious beliefs. In a 2000 interview with Out, Houston said she was neither gay or bisexual:
“I suppose (the gay rumors) comes from knowing people…who are. I don’t care who you sleep with. If I’m your friend, I’m your friend. I have friends who are in the community. And I’m sure that in my days of bein’ out, hanging with my friends, having nothing but females around me, something’s gotta be wrong with that.
“Listen, I took a lot of grief for shit that wasn’t me, OK, ‘cause I had friends, ‘cause I was close to people,” she says, eyes blazing and hands waving. “But that ain’t me. I know what I am. I’m a mother. I’m a woman. I’m heterosexual. Period.”
Cissy Houston made her disapproval known not long after her daughter’s death. Following Whitney’s fatal drug overdose in 2012, Houston told Oprah she would not have approved of her daughter being in a relationship with a woman.
Brown believes that Houston’s distancing herself from Crawford played a role in her death.
“I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today,” Brown said. “She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.”