Did Whitney Houston 'binge on drugs and alcohol to numb pain of being a secret lesbian?'

By Alanah Eriksen

Claims: Friends gave claimed Whitney Houston, seen left in 1994, used her marriage to Bobby Brown, as a smokescreen and she was once in a lesbian relationship with ex-assistant Robyn Crawford (right)

Whitney Houston was a secret lesbian and binged on the drugs and alcohol that killed her because she was torn over living a lie, it has been claimed.

Rumours have been circulating for 30 years that the singer had had a secret relationship with her ex-assistant, but her friends have now publicly spoken about her sexuality following her death.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell even said her marriage to Bobby Brown was a smokescreen.

'It’s important to tell the truth about this aspect of her life,' he told the Daily Star.

'Whitney was happiest and at her peak in the 1980s when she was with her female partner.

'They were so loved up and joyful together. Perhaps her inability to accept and express her same-sex love contributed to her substance abuse and decline.'

He added: 'She was pressured into the Bobby Brown marriage. It was a disaster. Her life started going downhill soon afterwards.'

The last photos: Whitney was seen partying at a club in Hollywood two days before her death at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Lovers? Whitney was said to be in an on-off relationship with rapper Ray J, who was 18 years her junior

The British-based campaigner did not name the woman but other sources have said it was Robyn Crawford.

The ex-assistant wrote a Valentine’s-themed tribute to Whitney hours after she died, which was published in a U.S. magazine.

It said: 'I first met Whitney when I was 16 and knew right away she was special.

'Whitney was modelling and had peachy-coloured skin and didn’t look like anyone I’d ever met in New Jersey.

'I can’t believe that I’m never going to hug her or hear her laughter again.'

The claims have also been backed up by Whitney's sister-in-law and her ex-bodyguard Kevin Ammons.

Even her former husband Bobby has hinted their marriage was a cover-up for her desire for women.

Bobby's sister Tina Brown said: 'I saw her with a woman a couple of times.'

And Bobby, 43, wrote in his biography that he was convinced she had a 'different agenda', which some believe is a reference to her using the marriage to stop rumours.

He added: 'The marriage was doomed from the beginning.'

Her bodyguard wrote in his book about the star that Robyn slapped Whitney when she saw her flirting with men and was furious when she vowed to marry Brown.

Daddy's girl: Bobby Brown and the couple's 18-year-old daughter Bobbie Kristina leaving a restaurant this month

Tributes: The New Hope Baptist Church in New Jersey yesterday where Whitney's funeral will be held on Saturday

And he claimed Whitney paid off ex-publicist Regina Brown to keep quiet about her affair with Robyn.

The 48-year-old was found in a bath at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California. She had taken a cocktail of drugs and booze.

She is to be buried at midday on Saturday in New Jersey’s New Hope Baptist Church.

Whitney spoke out about the rumours in 2000, saying: 'I am a mother, not a lesbian. I am not gay.'

Celebrity friends: Former Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife Nancy Shevell were among those to pay tribute to the singer at the Beverly Hilton Hotel

It has also been claimed that Whitney told friends she 'really wanted to see Jesus' in the days before her death and claimed she had a feeling the end was near for her, according to TMZ.

The Thursday before she died she apparently performed Yes Jesus Loves Me at Tru nightclub in Hollywood and told one of her friends, 'I'm gonna go see Jesus ... I want to see Jesus.'

The next morning, hours before her death, she discussed a bible passage involving John the Baptist and Jesus when she flashed a big smile and said: 'You know, he's so cool ... I really want to see that Jesus.'

Another source told the website ahe had been telling friends she 'felt like her time was coming'.

Video: Filipino fans pay tribute to Whitney Houston in song