Robyn Crawford is opening up about her instant connection with Whitney Houston on the latest episode of Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk.
Crawford, now 58, sits down with host Jada Pinkett Smith on next week’s episode of the popular talk show to discuss her special relationship with Houston, who died in 2012 at the age of 48.
The two first met in 1980 when they were both counselors at an East Orange, New Jersey summer camp. Pinkett has Crawford revisit that period in her life in PEOPLE’s exclusive clip of the interview, which airs Monday.
“I’m gonna go back a little bit when you guys first met as teenagers,” Pinkett Smith says. “It seems like to me, you had two women who met each other, who had a connection, who’s intention wasn’t necessarily to fall in love.”
“We were, we just were,” Crawford agrees. “Our friendship was deep, we were intimate on all levels. There was no shame in the physical moments that we shared.”
Seven years after Whitney’s tragic death, she writes, “I’d come to the point where I felt the need to stand up for our friendship. And I felt an urgency to stand up and share the woman behind the incredible talent.”
But while they had an immediate connection from the moment they met — when Crawford was 19 and Houston almost 17 — Houston ended the physical part of their relationship two years later. The singer broke the news by giving Crawford a gift of a slate blue Bible one day in 1982, claims Crawford.
“She said we shouldn’t be physical anymore,” writes Crawford, “because it would make our journey even more difficult.”
“She said if people find out about us, they would use this against us,” says Crawford, “and back in the ’80s that’s how it felt.”
And so, she writes, “I kept it safe. I found comfort in my silence.”
Red Table Talk airs Mondays on Facebook Watch.