Rosie O’Donnell thinks Whitney Houston was ‘troubled by the gay part of her life’

Rosie O'Donnell and Whitney Houston

Comedian Rosie O’Donnell thinks Whitney Houston was “troubled” by her sexuality and feared being “exposed”.

On the Hot Takes & Deep Dives podcast Monday (22 March), O’Donnell recalled meeting Houston and her former partner Robyn Crawford at a party in New York.

She said that at the time she was aware that Crawford was Houston’s partner, although she was publicly seen as the singer’s friend and assistant. She added: “Whitney was troubled by, I think, the gay part of her life and didn’t want it exposed.”

Discussing Houston’s drug addiction, which eventually led to her death in 2007, O’Donnell remembered a time in the late 1990s when she failed to show up for an interview on The Rosie O’Donnell Show. 

“She was, at that time, really in a downward spiral with drugs, and it was obvious to anyone who was watching her,” she said.

O’Donnell continued: “She didn’t show up, so I said to her crew, ‘This is all on all of you. Because when she dies, everyone is going to ask why you didn’t do something.'”

Later, she said, Crawford wrote to her “and told me that was a very big day for them – the crew around her – to think that they had to make inroads to try to help her”.

“Sadly, they didn’t,” she said. “Or couldn’t.”

Whitney Houston’s former partner Robyn Crawford confirmed their relationship in her 2019 memoir

Seven years after her death, Robyn Crawford opened up about her intimate relationship with Whitney Houston in a tell-all memoir, A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.

Rumours had abounded about Houston’s sexuality for years, but in her book Crawford said she and Houston had a relationship that spanned many years and continued throughout the singer’s marriage to Bobby Brown.

In November, 2019, Crawford told NBC ahead of the book’s release how their “intimate” relationship developed.

She said: “We were intimate on many levels and all I can say is that is was very deep and we were very connected.

“Our friendship was a deep friendship and in the early part of that friendship it was physical. It was during that first summer that we met, was the first time our lips touched.

“And it wasn’t anything planned, it just happened. And it felt wonderful. And then, not long after that, we spent the night together.

“And that evening was the night that we touched. And that just brought us closer together.”