Understandably, people all over the world are still grieving over the death of Whitney Houston. One of her closest friends Robyn Crawford penned a touching letter to the late pop icon for Esquire.

For those of you who may not know Crawford who is, she was once Houston’s personal assistant for a number of years. Her close attachment to Houston sparked rumors that her and the veteran songbird were lesbian lovers. Houston vehemently denied that she was romantically involved with Crawford in a 1993 Rolling Stone interview.

“You know what? I am so tired of this. I’m really sick of it. People want to know if there is a relationship: Our relationship is that we’re friends,” Houston told journalist Anthony DeCurtis. “We’ve been friends since we were kids. She now is my employee. I’m her employer. And we’re still best of friends. That’s what it is. You mean to tell me that if I have a woman friend, I have to have a lesbian relationship with her? That’s bulls—.”

In the letter, Crawford details her lifelong friendship with Houston before the music and fame:

“I met her when she was 16. It was at a summer job. I was working at a community center in East Orange, New Jersey, and she was working just like the rest of us. She was there to work. She introduced herself as “Whitney Elizabeth Houston,” and I knew right away she was special. Not a lot of people introduced themselves with their middle names back then. She had peachy colored skin and she didn’t look like anyone I’d ever met in East Orange, New Jersey.

She was nothing like the Whitney Houston she became but at the same time she was already there. She knew, and so did everyone around her. She was doing shows in Manhattan with her mother, and she’d change her clothes in the car and get on stage and do her thing. She hadn’t signed her contract yet. But she was modeling for Wilhelmina because she was discovered on the street. She was walking in front of Carnegie Hall and someone walked up to her and said, “There’s a modeling agency upstairs that’s looking for someone just like you.” She walked upstairs and they signed her. That’s what it was like, that’s what she gave off. She looked like an angel. When my mother first met her, she laughed and said, “You look like an angel, but I know you’re not.” And she wasn’t. But she looked like one.”

To read Robyn Crawford’s elegiac letter to Whitney Houston, click HERE.

PopCrush would like to thank Crawford for sharing her personal story about Whitney Houston. We send our prayers and condolences to the Houston family, as well.