Entertainment News | TV & Film
Legendary record executive Clive Davis and the Whitney Houston biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” have confirmed the longstanding rumors of a romantic relationship between the late singer and best friend Robyn Crawford.
In an interview with Extra Davis confirmed the pair dated as teens before Houston’s fame with the relationship lasting a year.
Davis' admission echoes the sentiments shared by Crawford in her 2018 memoir “Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston where she reveals their love affair ended when Houston signed her first major record deal.
In one portion of the memoir Crawford writes “We wanted to be together,” "She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore, because it would make our journey even more difficult.”
Davis, who is an executive producer of the biopic said he felt it was important to include the pair’s relationship after years of speculation and rumors surrounding their romance.
“There have been so many articles that have…attempted to trace her addiction to being a frustrated lesbian or never dated a man before Bobby, all of which were totally inaccurate,” Davis said.
Film director Kasi Lemmons told the LA Times that debates with the singer's estate over how to portray Houston and Crawford’s relationship took place behind the scenes, eventually, Houston's estate permitted them to include their relationship in the film.
“They have feelings, and those feelings have to be respected,” said Lemmons
Lemmons revealed she did not reach out to Crawford for the film citing her strained relationship as the reason “I wanted to, but I did not,” Lemmons said. “Because I was working with the estate, I was careful. People’s feelings had to be considered.”
In "I Wanna Dance With You" the pair's romance plays out early on the film -with Naomi Acke portraying Houston and Nafessa Williams portraying Crawford.
Acke told Attitude Magazine that portraying Houston and Crawford’s relationship on screen was liberating for her. “It’s a part of her story. The love between Robyn and Whitney was so pure and real and dynamic. It moved, it shifted, they never put a name on it. And I just love that. It’s a part of Whitney’s story.”
Acke said omitting the relationship from the film may have deterred her from taking on the role of Houston, “I don't think I would have done the project because it feels like continuing a false narrative that doesn’t feel truthful,” she revealed.
Williams told Them, to prepare for her role as Crawford, she read her memoir. “Her book saved me because it was like she literally handed over her life,” Williams said.
“I wish they would have been able to be themselves and have been celebrated in the industry the way that it is now." She continued, “It just wasn’t the case back then. It was still a big taboo. It was shunned.”
“I Wanna Dance With Somebody” is currently in theaters.