A secret love. Whitney Houston‘s best friend, Robyn Crawford, is opening up for the first time on television about the romantic relationship that she and the legendary singer once had.

“We were intimate on many levels and all I can say was that it was very deep and we were very connected,” the 58-year-old tells NBC News’ Craig Melvin on a special episode of Dateline. “Our friendship was a deep friendship. In the early part of that friendship, it was physical.” After keeping their close bond hidden for years, Robyn — who also goes into more details in her new memoir A Song for You: My Life With Whitney Houston — decided to speak out for a very important reason.

“I watched her rise to the top of her game and I felt compelled to share who that woman was behind all the fame.” Robyn explains. “I never envisioned speaking publicly about my life and then I asked myself the question, ‘What would Whitney want? Would she understand you know, the time is now?’” Robyn also reveals that their relationship was known by “no one” but them.

Whitney Houston
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“It was ours,” Robyn says. However, their relationship wouldn’t last, as the pair would call it quits before Whitney would reach superstardom.

“[Whitney] said ‘I don’t believe we should be physical anymore,'” Robyn recalls. “The music business was a world that we were learning and we didn’t want anything to interfere with where she was going. I just felt I wouldn’t be losing much. I still loved her the same and she loved me and that was good enough.”

Whitney Houston Robyn Crawford

This is not the first time intimate details of the Grammy winner have been revealed. In 2018, filmmaker Kevin Macdonald released his documentary Whitney, and touched on many different aspects of her life. “Once you see it from her point of view, you think, ‘Oh God, how cruel!’” the director exclusively told Closer Weekly at the time. “I don’t think you make a film to have a lesson within it, but maybe there is a lesson to be learned in this about having a bit more sensitivity in the media about people’s private lives, and realizing that you can impact them in a huge way emotionally.”

Whitney Houston
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Dateline NBC’s A Song for Whitney airs Saturday, November 9 at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Today will also have a live interview with Robyn on Monday, November 11.