Whitney Houston First Tried Cocaine At 14, Best Friend Says

By Desiree Bowie 11/11/19

“She admired that I could stop. She said, ‘I’m going to stop but I’m just not ready yet.'”

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Whitney Houston
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There has been much speculation about the inception of Whitney Houston's drug use. Many blame her husband pop star Bobby Brown for introducing her to drugs but the "Every Little Step" singer emphatically denies introducing his wife of 14 years to drugs. 

"It wasn't me that started her [on drugs]," he told Robin Roberts in an emotional 20/20 interview in 2016.

Houston's best friend and alleged lover Robyn Crawford appears to back-up Brown's denial in her recently released a memoir titled A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston which details their relationship as well as Whitney's turbulent and prolific relationship with cocaine.

Romantic Rumors

In the book, Crawford says the "I Will Always Love You" singer admitted that she had first tried cocaine when she was 14 years old. Crawford first met Houston when they were teens and they became fast friends...and then more.

For years, romantic rumors swirled around the duo but were often kiboshed by those in Whitney's camp, including her mother, Cissy Houston. In A Song For You, Crawford laid those tumors to rest by confirming that the two were romantically involved. 

“Whitney told me her mother said it wasn’t natural for two women to be that close,” Crawford wrote, “but we were that close.”

According to Crawford the pair "never talked about labels, like lesbian or gay. We just lived our lives and I hoped it could go on that way forever.”

When Whitney began pursuing her music career, Crawford was by her side as her personal assistant though they had to end the physical aspects of their relationship due to pressure from Whitney's team about how their queer relationship could possibly derail her budding career.

Cocaine In The Spotlight

As the singer's career began to take off in the 80s, she noted that the drug use could be a problem as she ascended the heights of stardom.

“Whitney would often say ‘Cocaine can’t go where we’re going.’ [But] we weren’t ready to give it up quite yet,” Crawford wrote.

Success came in waves for the talented singer but she continued to use. Crawford says she warned Whitney, “I’d say, ‘Nip [Whitney's nickname]  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.'”

But Houston didn't stop.

“She admired that I could stop. She said, ‘I’m going to stop but I’m just not ready yet.'”

And the drug use continued and escalated. Crawford put an end to her imbibing but the pressures of fame helped push Houston deeper into addiction

After being the legendary singer's personal assistant throughout her career, Crawford decided it was time to hang up her hat and extricate herself from the situation in 2000. 

“I had done all I could do,” she wrote, according to People.“and for the first time I realized that I needed to save myself.”

After Houston's death, Crawford confronted the late singer's agent about sending her out on tour while she was in the midst of a harrowing addiction to cocaine.

“She said to me, ‘Because she and her daughter would have been out on the street. And my response was, ‘Is that what you guys have been telling her?'”

Crawford assumed that there would be time for them to reunite after her departure but in 2012, Houston passed away from an accidental drowning at 48.

“I thought we had time but in an odd way, Whitney was waiting for me and I was waiting for her,” she noted. "I owe it to my friend to share her story, my story. Our story. And I hope that in doing so, I can set us both free."

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Desiree Bowie is a writer and movie lover from Los Angeles, California. Follow her on Twitter @dangerbowie

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