Remembering Whitney Houston, pt. 2: What went wrong in the pop icon's life?

Whitney Houston was only 22 years old when "Saving All My Love" became her number-one hit in 1985. 

She went to have 11 iconic, chart-topping songs in her career. With a total of 134 recorded songs, her beautiful voice and talent was undisputed.  

But away from the public eye, her friends say Whitney was struggling with insecurities and a sense that she couldn’t be her authentic self.  

"She was in this sort of box where she had to be who she necessarily wasn't. But she had to fit that image, she had to sort of keep pushing that image," says Journalist Allison Samuels. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Part 1 of Remembering Whitney Houston

It was an image that certainly had no room for a loving relationship with another woman. Robin Crawford was Whitney Houston’s long-time friend and rumored secret lover.  

In 2019, Robyn confirmed she had a romantic relationship with Whitney. The details, published in her book, A Song For You, My Life With Whitney Houston. 

"There was more than the friendship and that was really rough," says Saxophonist Kirk Whalum.  

For seven years, Whalum toured with Whitney all over the world. He says in the 1980s and 1990s, people were not ready to accept that a star like Whitney Houston could be in a lesbian relationship. 

Whalum says, "It couldn't be, you know, there were so many reasons why it just couldn't be and that to me, is very, very sad." 

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Samuels adds, "She came from a very religious background. Her mother, very church going people, so that was absolutely taboo, that situation with Robin."

When Bobby Brown came into the picture and Robin left, those who worked closely with Whitney say her behavior became more erratic, and it was clear she was using drugs.  

"You could tell that chemistry (Bobby and Whitney) was a race to the bottom, it was not good," says Whalum. 

David Roberts, Houston’s Bodyguard from 1988 to 1995 is the man who inspired the film "The Bodyguard" with Kevin Costner. 

He says of Whitney, "To know her is to love her, it’s as simple as that."  

Roberts says he wrote a letter to Whitney’s representatives warning them she had a drug problem and desperately needed intervention.  

He wrote in a letter, "She needs help. She may not recognize it, she may not understand it but she needs help." 

Roberts says he was thanked for his concerns later fired. He was told his services would no longer be needed.  

Why would Whitney’s reps ignore the warning? Roberts has an idea. 

He says, "Oh, money, it's the mighty dollar. Everybody relied heavily on this beautiful young woman’s voice box."

On February 11, 2012, the day, the world learned Whitney Houston died in a tub from a combination of too much cocaine use, a heart attack and drowning, the man who tried to save her so many years before was overcome with sadness and anger. 

"We are all at fault, we all should have done the right thing, we didn’t." 

When reminded that he tried, Roberts says, "Trying is one thing, succeeding is another. If I hadn't failed, you'd still be listening to her singing now."

David Roberts has written his own book titled Protecting Whitney: Memoir of a Bodyguard. Roberts exposes previously untold aspects of the late pop music superstar Whitney Houston’s rise and fall.  

The book is in the final stages of production. 

You can catch Part 1 of FOX 11's two-part investigation of Whitney Houston's death in the video player below: