You probably heard a lot about Portland on the news about the tear gas and the federal agents with snatch vans and the of the anarchy, what you probably haven't heard is the truth because the reality of what happened in Portland is so much stranger, so much more incredible than what the mainstream media was willing to show. I'm Robert Evans. And along with all of the other voices on my podcast, Uprising A Guide from Portland, I was there. Listen to Uprising, a guide from Portland on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.
Hey, fam, I'm Jada Pinkett Smith and this is the Red Tablecloth podcast. All your favorite episodes from the Facebook Watch show in audio produced by Westbrooke Audio and I hate radio. Please don't forget to write and review on Apple podcasts. On this red table talk hero. For 20 years, she was Whitney Houston's closest friend and confidante. You're like an urban myth. Now Robin Crawford is breaking her silence. This is the conversation I most wanted to do, sharing the closely guarded truth about their relationship.
We were intimate on all levels. The situation was out of control.
There's always these stories about you and Bobby. Did you guys ever have a physical altercation?
Now, Robin Crawford is here at the red table to set the record straight about her life with the legendary Whitney Houston.
I read your book. And I was. And from page one, when you I don't want to cry, when you said it's a love letter to Whitney and that resonated is just so powerful, it was so healing for me and so many different ways.
You know, it's hard to love someone who, you know, has had a legacy at the level that she has had and then to lose them under tragic circumstances because I have a very similar situation.
What made you decide that the time was now to. Tell your story in regards to your relationship with Whitney. Well, first of all, let me say that I had great comfort in my silence, but over the years I began to feel my silence, shake right. And everything I heard or read there was inaccurate. But when Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina passed, yeah, that was the first time that I really felt the need to ask the question to Whitney.
What would you want me to do? Oh, yeah, what would you want me to do? And that's when I felt the need to stand up. Yeah. You know, to stand up for my friends legacy to lift it. Yeah. Because it seemed like your role in her life was that of a protector. So you had to be a warrior.
So what were some of the things about her legacy that you felt was being tarnished? Whitney? I felt a need to share. Who the person was behind the extraordinary talent, that's all I kept hearing. Well, she had this. She had that. Then she just tossed it all away like she was under so much pressure all the time. I was there, why I felt it was necessary to talk about the Whitney that I know. Who was thoughtful with her generosity?
It's my duty to do that, you know, a lot of times you hear stuff about, you know, whatever that she had with different artists, what have you.
And my interaction with Whitney.
She was just one of the most down to earth know, loving. She didn't bring any of that to the table.
No, no, no.
She was just a lot of fun. I'm going to go back a little bit when you guys first met as teenagers. You had two women who met each other who had a connection, whose intention wasn't necessarily to fall in love.
We were. We just were. Yeah, our friendship was deep. We were intimate on all levels. Yeah. There was no shame in the physical absolute moments that we shared. There was no shame.
In Robin's book, she describes her romantic relationship with Whitney. They bonded immediately and were inseparable.
Soon they became physical and had a sexual relationship that lasted for two years.
Whitney and I first met at the Community Development Center where we were summer counselors. I was 19. And she was 16, soon to turn 17. One day after camp, we were just talking. There was something there that made us connect and then at one moment we both just met and, you know, our mouths touched and that was our first kiss. It was awesome. We weren't hiding why the physical? Aspect of our friendship, we weren't hiding it, but we knew that I mean, it was ours.
Yes, right. It was ours.
But Whitney's mom, Tedlow, I call it fever about our closeness. Right. And what it was like. I need ropin here where I'm going. I need someone who knows me now. Why? What do you think her mother is? And comfortability was I called her Mrs. Houston, got it. She knows how I feel about her. I wrote her a note after Whitney passed, Mrs. Houston knows I love Whitney and Whitney loved me, but I always sensed a bitterness.
And her mom, because I thought her daughter is so awesome, why that there was so much to be joyful about, if anything, Whitney would listen to me. And that would bother Mrs. Houston. But I think the only reason why Whitney listen to me is because I listened to her.
We'll have more just after Whitney signed her first record deal. She gave Robyn a Bible and told her they could no longer be physically intimate.
She said, I have something for you. And she placed a Bible in my hands. She said, I don't believe that we should be physical any longer, that it would make our journey much harder if they found out about it.
But she also said living that kind of life, you could go to hell.
Her mom also had told Whitney that it was not natural for two women to be as close as we were.
Janet. Even though they ended their physical relationship, their emotional connection continued, they used empty pages in their Bible to write goodbye love letters to each other.
We inscribed our loyalty, our dedication. Oh, thank you. And I casette that the actual vibe this is this is it. Oh, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. So you guys wrote each other. We inscribed on the back of the book because God was there, too. Yeah. I wasn't blindsided by her saying that we should not be physical anymore. What she chose her path to saying that was a gift that she was blessed with and she wanted to serve and whether she knew.
That she had to take their piece, that physical piece out so that it would not interfere with because of the times interfere with what she knew she was born to do, knowing that she didn't have to lose you.
That's powerful. Yeah. Sacrifice, OK. Yeah. Knowing that she didn't have to lose you, that she could still have your strength, your friendship, your love. She said, love me. Unconditional. There it is, she was worth that, right? There's a lot of Whitney out there. She just didn't let a lot of people know. Her, yeah, and a lot of people have a difficult time understanding relationships. Mm hmm. Of that manner, because everybody thinks the highest grade of of relating is romantic and sexual.
And it's not even when we get into lifetime committed relationships, we start to realize those components aren't everything from personal growth is challenging, but it doesn't have to be hard.
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Whitney and Robyn continue to feel possessive towards each other. Years after they ended their physical relationship, Whitney grew suspicious that Robin had slept with a backup dancer and angrily confronted her. She was really upset and my Bible, I kept it over my bed and she just grabbed it and ripped out the back page and she started tearing it up, ripping it little pieces. Did she ever explain why Whitney wasn't an explainer?
She didn't explain things. She went right for it and just ripped just ripped it out. And I picked up the pieces and I put it in an envelope. Whitney was one of a few words, although her mouth could go and you could not keep up with her. And she love girl talk and like, she would love this this red tape, she'd be sitting in the middle of that.
She would. She would. And it would have been great for her to. Yeah. Because she needed moments like that. Yeah. Just talk talking that understood.
Because of the complex relationship I've had with POC in those moments of his who that knowing damn well they nothing like that between us him feeling like you're the only stability I got. I can't afford for you to put that attention elsewhere. I need that stability. So for him it was we were an anchor for each other. Oh yeah. So any time he felt like that anchor was threatened. Oh my God. That's a good point because people will think, well, she was jealous or that's jealousy.
No, it is possessive. Yeah. And protective because it's a process. It's a lot of things I didn't understand while I was in it. Yeah. You know what I mean.
I mean, we were young. Yes. Fearless, ready for the world.
But we didn't we couldn't fathom all the forces that were coming at once.
It's overwhelming. And I don't think people understand this. She was a baby. We both were on July 18th.
Nineteen ninety two, just weeks before twenty ninth birthday, Whitney Houston, the biggest pop star on the planet, married Bobby Brown, the notorious bad boy of R and B superstar, six years her junior.
The lavish ceremony included a forty thousand dollar gown with custom beaded headpiece.
Eighteen to your wedding cake and white doves released as the couple sealed their vows with a kiss. Robyn, ever the loyal friend, stood by as Whitney's maid of honor. I saw footage of you at her wedding day as her maid of honor, Robin, when I saw you in that footage. My heart was just bleeding all in my lap thinking back on that wedding. It was a crazy day, I bet.
But there were people walking around.
I mean, you had over 800 guests now. And I was honored to be. Her maid of honor. Yeah, my. Were you ready for her to be married, having her submit her life for the rest of her life with someone else? Yeah, if if if that's what if that's what she wanted, I would be there for her. I wanted Whitney to have the life that she wanted for herself, her own family.
I did. I remember looking in her eyes when. When you like face to face. And in my mind, she's about to submit her life with someone else.
You know. And I hoped that it would be. Fruitful for her. Did you have any feelings about her marrying Bobby? She told me she loved him. I had heard the rumors about him way. When she told me that he had asked her to marry her and I asked her, you love him. She said, yes, I do, I love them, and she asked me and I was not ready for this question, why do you think he loves me?
And I said, honestly, Gnip, I really don't know him that well, why there's always these stories about you and Bobby. Did you guys ever have a physical altercation? There were no Everlast shorts and gloves ever. He did get my face a couple of times like. Something foolish. And he never came to me and asked me anything about concerning my past with Whitney. I know that when she came back from her honeymoon and she had that gash on her face, did she ever explain to you how that gash got there?
I asked her.
She said I threw a glass against the wall and it shattered and I got cut.
Right. But the cut was like from here to there was about three or four inches long. Flying glass doesn't do that.
So but I never pressed her, I was like, you love this man and it's not right to stand by someone and then think ill of it. That wasn't me, right? But the more I saw and heard and the messier it got, I thought she'd get tired of it. I mean, Whitney had a lot of pride. And a strong will, but every time I thought that would be it, it wasn't.
As Whitney and Bobby's tumultuous relationship continued headlines and drama followed, their marriage went from Rocky to explosive.
Whitney went to surprise Bobby in Atlanta after knocking on his door several times, outcomes Bobby in a rage saying, I don't want you here. And he spit in her face. She ran down the hall and Bobby picked up a glass and threw it, and Whitney picked up the phone to call her father. That's when Bobby snatched the phone from her and hit over the head with it.
I still had the key and when I would go up to the house, they would be in the back room. I wouldn't see them. I could be up there like four hours and I wouldn't see why he had her to himself. She was isolated, but there was an aspect of you that thought that she. She can handle herself. Oh, yeah, like Whitney did not like confrontation, but if you backed her up against the wall, she let you know why.
That's how Whitney was. She was like, you know, did I ask you? I think that's an important point, because when our loved ones pass on because of tragic circumstances sometimes. Those of us who are left behind, who love them, people tend to put more responsibility on us. Then remembering that. That person made choices. It's a painful thing to have to confront that we all make choices that get us to certain places and we look back and go, well, if you had done that, if you had stayed, if you did it, maybe things would have been different.
But at the end of the day, Whitney, there were certain choices that she was making and she lived the life of our choices. If you're talking about the self-abuse or addiction, I believe that Whitney was stuck. She didn't like feeling pitiful. I mean, that was a tough. Yeah, I get that.
If you were annoying. She kept you away, got it. She won't be bothered with you. I'm Kate Berlant. I'm Jaclyn Novak. We're comedians, best friends and consumerist hogs hemorrhaging cash in the wellness world. That's why we made a podcast, PWG, A Quixotic Quest for Wholeness. Here's a little snippet of us trying out a top dollar massage gun on our muscle manipulation episode.
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After twenty years side by side, Robin Crawford made the painful decision to stop working with Whitney after an argument with Whitney and Bobbi. Robin had had enough.
We went out to Los Angeles. It was just cancellation of the cancellation, the firing at the Oscars, and Bobby was traveling with us and which never makes it easy.
I went to Fred Siegel and I purchased George Michael a button down black shirt. Since we had run them around for a while, we had canceled three sessions with him, just a kind gesture.
And Bobby erupted with Bobby screaming in my face and all that stress and worry about Whitney. I was at a breaking point. It wasn't just Bobby, it was everything.
When you made the decision that it was time for you to walk away. And I can only. I know. I know the depths of their struggle, you know, haven't had to do with them as well, you know. Did you have any hope? Then in you making the decision. To walk away, that it would change something. And what do you think needs to change in order for you to remain? When I made that decision, I never once thought or believed that I was leaving Whitney.
Wow, OK, OK. I needed her to stop and think about. Herself and look at. Where we were and her world looked like what? It was so many people, she wasn't paying attention. The situation was out of control and I felt like I had done all that I could do in the current.
Climate of what Nippy was at that time. Now, Robin, that's a big clear up right there because a lot of us. And they think a lot of us thought you left for much different reason that I left because of Bobby and that that's not true. Bobby was annoying. He was very annoying. And you never knew when he would just.
Hello. There we go again. Why? And he would get jealous and. It was too many people around and Whitney had lost focus. Yeah, you know, the rumor that I gave her ultimatum. You don't give Whitney ultimatum, right?
No, you don't do that. And I didn't have to. She knew how I felt. And she knew I would tell her I never once believed that she would fall. Wow, swimming is what she loved to do, I mean, girl could swim. She loved the water and that's why passing in the water just is so, so crazy. Like, hard for me to wrap my heart and head around.
On February 11th, 2012, the world was heartbroken to discover that Whitney Houston had tragically died.
It was the day before the Grammys and Whitney was bathing in her hotel room. She slipped under the water. The final coroner's report confirmed that Whitney had been a victim of an accidental drowning brought on by heart disease and longtime cocaine abuse. When Whitney passed, it was I was flooded with emotions.
I was angry. Yeah, I just had to get myself together. It made me sad when Whitney passed. And you said she should have never been alone. Yeah, it made me really sad because I was like, there was a time she wasn't. You know, she had an event right that day, she had the big event.
Yes, she had the Clive Davis event, but she also had two other on camera things that she was doing before that, a whole list of things to do.
You got people working for you. Where the hell are they?
After that fateful day, you know, my life was filled with strangers walking up to me feeling like had I been there, she'd still be here. Of course. That's a lot to even pull in, but what I do know is that she would not have been alone.
It pains me that she's not here physically, that's kind of selfish. But she and Chrissie have each other nearly three years to the day of her mother's death, Whitney's only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was found unresponsive underwater in a bathtub just like her mother. She never regained consciousness and died six months later, a manner of death is officially undetermined, but the medical examiner found a toxic combination of drugs and alcohol in her system when Chrissy.
Left us, I felt for her. Without her mom, because I had witnessed the bond that they shared in the studio on stage, she loved that child and that little girl loved her mother. Yeah. So when our mom left, I knew she was lonely, but I honestly believed that she would be OK.
I wanted to believe that her him was being held was Sylvia Vihar, who was Whitney's personal assistant. She kept calling me and she said that little girl needs help. I didn't think for one second that, you know. I call it, you know, let her hand go with that message that you receive.
You talk about that in the book where she Whitney would call over the years and leave messages.
This was the wee hours. So I go about close to 4:00 in the morning. I check my messages. I just heard this voice and I heard my name and it was like Robin in that way that would get my attention right. I thought she'd call back the numbers restricted to always restricted. I can't call back, but I wish I would have. Just taken the necessary steps to reach her, but I heard that voice and, you know, and speaking for me, I feel like I was waiting for her and she was waiting for me in time.
Just don't wait.
I understand that one. Don't wait, yeah, you know, no one ever really dies, we keep them with us. That's the truth. I tell people all the time I'm like, and you don't get over it. You just learn how to cope without having them here if you had a chance. That I could disappear right now and Whitney would take my place and all these cameras would shut off and it was just you and her in the room.
What would you want to say to her? I would want to say. You know that. You know, I love you. And I got you I represent I love that girl, like yesterday. That she's with me all the time. I understand after Robin stopped working with Whitney, she married Lisa, gentlemen, a publicist she met during the bodyguard. They have two children. Early on, they came to an understanding that when Whitney called or showed up at the door, they would welcome her.
Hello. Yes. I really wanted to have a moment to talk to you, because I know when Robin has said to you that if Whitney calls, we cannot leave the door open. What was it that made you open to that? You know, Robin had committed to me that she was going to focus on our life. Whitney, when she was still alive, people would call Robin. Did you hear that this happened or did you read that Whitney did this?
And, you know, my line was, you know, she goes to the bathroom when someone calls you to tell you. Right.
And, you know, that was you know, it was frustrating. Right. But I knew how important they were to each other. We met because of Whitney.
Then I also felt for Whitney.
I felt for her her troubles and her struggles. And I knew firsthand how supportive Robin can be and how strong she can be. So I understood that that's what she was for Whitney. So if she called, of course, we would have welcomed her. When Robin first told you that she wanted to write this book, what were your thoughts? I totally understood and agreed with Robin's desire to kind of clear the air of misperception. Yes. And more importantly, to to lift Whitney.
And, you know, I had I was, you know, well aware of her greatness and also saddened by how people were presenting her. And I really felt that. Doing that might sort of. Complete things for her and allow her to fully. You know, enjoy the rest of her life as beautiful and even in my own. Situation is deeply healing. We have a very relatable circumstance in that, you know, so this was good for me and it's really nice to see the two of you here together to and actually feel the connection.
Thank you. Thank you for being here with us. I appreciate that. It's my pleasure, Fred. Table.
Oh, yeah. Table talk. Real talk.
Hayati family, join our red tabletop group on Facebook to become part of the conversation and be sure to follow the show page to catch up on all our episodes. Yes, perfectly. Thank you. All right. Hey, I'm here with Robin Crawford. We had a beautiful conversation today about her book, A Song for You My Life with Whitney Houston.
Swiper, that's a good one to join the red table, talk family and become a part of the conversation.
Follow us at Facebook. Dot com slash red tabletop. Thanks for listening to this episode of Red Tape Talk podcast produced by Facebook Watch Westbrooke Audio and I Heart Radio.
There's a phrase I love in Hindi.
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