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After years of rumors, Whitney Houston‘s best friend Robyn Crawford is finally speaking out about the details of their relationship and the forces that kept them apart.

In a new memoir called “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston”, Crawford says that she and Whitney indeed had a romantic relationship. “I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship,” Crawford told PEOPLE. “And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent.”

The two were romantic partners in the early ’80s, however, due to Whitney’s impending fame, Crawford said she ended the physical aspect. “We wanted to be together,” says Crawford, “and that meant just us.”

Crawford says that things stopped being physical not too long after Whitney signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista. Whitney broke the news to Crawford by giving her a slate blue Bible one day in 1982, according to the memoir. “She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore because it would make our journey even more difficult,” writes Crawford. “She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us and back in the ’80s that’s how it felt.”

Crawford went on to say that she kept the Bible safe and “found comfort” in her silence.

Crawford also claimed that Whitney’s family didn’t seem to support their relationship. “Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” says Crawford, “but we were that close.”

Crawford continued, “We never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

Houston and Crawford continued to have a bond even after the physical aspect of their relationship. “Whitney knows I loved her and I know she loved me,” says Crawford. “We really meant everything to each other. We vowed to stand by each other.” Crawford said she still supports Houston, who struggled with drug use and eventually passed in 2012 at 48-years-old.

Crawford is now a family fitness trainer and she lives a quiet life with her partner Lisa Hintlemann, who’s a talent agency executive. The two have adopted two children.

Crawford says by writing her book, she hopes to set the record straight about the legendary singer. “I wanted to lift her legacy, give her respect and share the story of who she was before the fame, and in that, to embrace our friendship,” says Crawford.

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