Whitney Houston's close friend reveals 'intimate' relationship with the late singer

Whitney Houston at the Soul Train Awards where she was presented with the 1998 Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement. (Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock)

NEW YORK (WTHR) — It has been seven years since singer Whitney Houston died at 48 years old, but one of her close friends and confidantes is sharing new details on their relationship.

TODAY's Craig Melvin spoke with Robyn Crawford ahead of her memoir's Nov. 12 release, titled, "A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston."

According to PEOPLE, Crawford said the two met as camp counselors at a summer camp when Houston was just shy of 17 years old and were instantly inseparable.

"In the early part of that friendship, it was physical," Crawford told Melvin. "We were intimate on many levels. And all I can say is that it was very deep, and we were very connected."

As Houston's rise to fame skyrocketed in the early 1980s, Houston told Crawford they should not be physical anymore because "it would make our journey even more difficult."

Crawford told Melvin nobody knew about the romantic aspect of their relationship.

In 1985, Houston released her self-titled debut album at only 22 years old, which included No. 1 singles "Saving All My Love for You," "How Will I Know" and "The Greatest Love of All."

PEOPLE reports Houston and Crawford's close relationship sparked speculation on the singer's sexuality for many years.

When Houston died from an accidental drowning with heart disease and cocaine abuse as contributing factors, Crawford said the two had been estranged for many years, but she recently asked herself, "What would Whitney want? Would she understand, you know, the time is now?"

The Houston family did not respond to requests from "TODAY."

The full interview will air on "Dateline" Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9 p.m. on WTHR in an episode titled "A Song for Whitney."

Filed under: