*Rosie O’Donnell appeared on the Hot Takes & Deep Dives podcast this week, where she dished about her relationship with late singer Whitney Houston.
“Whitney was troubled by, I think, the gay part of her life and didn’t want it exposed,” O’Donnell said of the singer’s sexuality, New York Post reports.
“It’s hard in black culture to accept gayness. It’s culturally more difficult, I think,” she continued. “And the church … the Baptist Church weighed heavily on her,” O’Donnell added. “Growing up in the church and singing gospel, [for Houston] I think that there was a lot of conflict about that.”
O’Donnell recalled meeting Houston with her alleged girlfriend, Robyn Crawford, at a party in New York. Crawford recounted the more than three decades she spent supporting Houston in her memoir “A Song For You: My Life with Whitney Houston.” She also shared some of their intimate details in an interview with Dateline NBC.
“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,” she said of her and Houston’s relationship when they were teenagers in the early 1980s. “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.”
In her book, Crawford said Houston ended their romantic relationship when she signed a music deal with Arista Records in 1983. Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown revealed in his 2016 autobiography “Every Little Step: My Story” that he knew his wife of 14 years was bisexual.
During her podcast interview, O’Donnell also discussed Houstons’s battle with addiction and how she pulled a no-show for their interview on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” back in the late 90s.
“[Houston] was, at that time, really in a downward spiral with drugs, and it was obvious to anyone who was watching her,” O’Donnell said on the podcast.
“She didn’t show up,” she said of Houston’s last-minute cancellation. “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.’ ”
O’Donnell also recounted the time “Robyn … had written me 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, and sadly, they didn’t. Or couldn’t.”
Houston died at age 48 of a reported drug-related accidental drowning at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in 2012.