The 58-year-old, who was the singer’s closest confidante, recently released a new memoir titled “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston,” which she says finally sheds the truth about their love story.
People magazine reported Crawford first met a then-16-year-old Houston at age 19 in 1980 when they were both counselors at an East Orange, New Jersey summer camp. It was there when Crawford told Houston, “I’m going to look out for you.” And that’s exactly what she was determined to do for the next two decades as Houston transformed into a global superstar.
In her book, Crawford claimed Houston had already sampled cocaine when she was just in her teens, the outlet reported on Thursday.
“Whitney told me she was 14 when she first tried it,” alleged Crawford.
“Whitney would often say ‘Cocaine can’t go where we’re going,’” Crawford noted about Houston’s career taking off. “[But] we weren’t ready to give it up quite yet.”
“I’d say, 'We’re here already. And it’s [cocaine] still here. It shouldn’t be.’ And she’d say, ‘I know, I’m going to stop,’” Crawford continued. “She admired that I could stop. She said, ‘I’m going to stop but I’m just not ready yet.’”
Crawford alleged Houston’s drug use increased following her marriage to Bobby Brown. However, it wasn't just the drugs that were wearing Houston down behind closed doors. Crawford shared that a grueling tour schedule and the constant speculation surrounding her sexuality also took a toll on Houston.
The declaration about Houston's early cocaine use comes just days after Crawford claimed she had a romantic relationship with the New Jersey-born diva. In her memoir, Crawford alleged Houston ended the physical part of their relationship after she signed a record deal with Clive Davis at Arista. Houston broke the news by giving her pal a slate blue Bible in 1982.
Of the toll that touring, drugs and whispers about Houston's sexuality took on the singer, Crawford said: "It was like a big machine and it never stopped."
Crawford maintained that she and Houston’s father, John Houston, asked the star to go to rehab at Silver Hill in Connecticut.
“I can still see her face when she said, ‘I’m not ready to go, I don’t want to go,’” wrote Crawford. “I have done all I could do. And for the first time, I realized that I needed to save myself.”
Crawford said she continued to worry about her pal’s health and would occasionally hear from a mutual friend who was working for Houston.
“I wouldn’t find out until years later that Whitney was behind those calls and often cried about my not being nearby,” wrote Crawford. “I could only help her only when she decided she needed it.”
Crawford said she became increasingly worried when she learned Houston was hitting the road as her addiction worsened.
“When I heard she was going on tour and I looked at the dates, I knew she should not be doing that,” said Crawford. “She wasn’t in any kind of shape to do it.”
Houston died in 2012 at age 48 following years of addiction. After Houston’s passing, Crawford asked the singer’s agent why Houston was forced to tour when she was clearly struggling.
“She said to me, ‘Because she and her daughter would have been out on the street,’” Crawford claimed. “And my response was, ‘Is that what you guys have been telling her?’”
Crawford admitted she’s still mourning the loss of Houston and the fact that her friend never received the help she desperately needed.
“I thought we had time,” said Crawford. “But in an odd way, Whitney was waiting for me and I was waiting for her.”
Crawford hopes her book will finally set the record straight about her relationship with the pop singer, but more importantly, reveal who Houston truly was.
“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,” said Crawford.