Whitney Houston’s death sent shockwaves around the world in 2012.
The much-loved superstar was tragically found unconscious and submerged in the bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Paramedics were called and performed CPR, but she was pronounced dead. She was just 48.
A coroner later ruled that Whitney died by drowning and the affected of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.
There was much Whitney hid from her fans throughout her life in the spotlight, including her decades-long struggle with drug abuse and a secret lesbian relationship.
Film Whitney: Can I Be Me delved into the star’s secret sadness and the cause of her tragic downfall.
Documentary maker Nick Broomfield searched for the answers to exactly what killed Whitney.
According to Mirror It was claimed in 2016 that Whitney was bisexual, and that she had a secret lesbian relationship with her assistant Robyn Crawford, but that she kept it quiet to avoid upsetting her mother, Cissy.
Whitney’s ex-husband Bobby Brown told Us Weekly magazine: “I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today. She didn’t have close friends with her anymore.”
Cissy wrote about her dislike for Robyn in her 2013 book Remembering Whitney.
In an interview with Oprah, she was asked if she would have been bothered if her daughter was gay.
Cissy snapped back: “Absolutely.”
Oprah asked: “You wouldn’t have condoned it?”
And Cissy said: “Not at all.”
She continued: “I didn’t particularly like [Crawford]. She just spoke too much, disrespectful sometimes, like she had something over Nippy [Whitney’s nickname], and I didn’t like that at all. She was all right, she turned out to be all right, I guess. That was her friend.”
Whitney and Robyn bonded when they were teenagers and worked together at a community center in New Jersey.
Whitney was rescued from bullies by Robyn on a number of occasions, with the star being targeted at school when her modeling career began to take off.
And when Whitney moved out of the family home, she and Robyn moved into an apartment together.
It’s been claimed that deep into Whitney’s 14-year marriage to Bobby, Robyn was still very much a part of her life.
Whitney’s make-up artist and friend Ellin Lavar gave her thoughts on the relationship in Can I Be Me.
She said: “I don’t think she was gay; I think she was bisexual. Robyn provided a safe place for her. In that Whitney found safety and solace.”
And gay rights activist Peter Tatchell once said Robyn was Whitney’s, true love.
He told Pink News in 2012: “When I met them [Whitney and Robyn], it was obvious they were madly in love. Their intimacy and affection were so sweet and romantic.”
Robyn, who quit as Whitney’s assistant in 2000, did not speak in the film but was seen in archive footage.
Whitney’s ex once accused her of having an agenda.
In Derrick Handspike’s unauthorised 2008 biography Bobby Brown: The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But, he quoted Bobby saying: “Now I realise Whitney had a different agenda than I did when we got married. I believe her agenda was to clean up her image while mine was to be loved and have children.
“Whitney felt she had to make rumours of a lesbian affair go away. Since she was the American Sweetheart and all, that didn’t go too well with her image. In Whitney’s situation, the only solution was to get married and have kids. That would kill all speculation whether it was true or not.”
Whitney’s security guard, Kevin Ammons, said in Can I Be Me: “Robyn and Whitney were like twins. They were inseparable. They had a bond and Bobby Brown could never remove Robyn. He wanted to be the man in the relationship.”
Whitney’s former bodyguard, David Roberts, says he witnessed her overdose on her 1999 tour and compiled a report for the people managing her affairs.
Documentary maker Broomfield said: “By then Whitney and Bobby were completely out of control. And I think he and various other people tried to bring that to the attention of the estate.
“He wrote that report that was incredibly detailed. And full of concern. I have a copy of it. And no one chose to act on it. Not at all.”
David, who was let go from his position, claims that if the report had been taken seriously “Whitney and Bobbi Kristina would still be here”.
Bobbi, Whitney and Bobby’s daughter, died in 2015, at the age of 22, in very similar circumstances to her mother.
In January 2015, he was found face down in a bathtub at her home by a friend who began CPR until paramedics arrived.
She was taken to hospital, where she remained in a coma and on a ventilator.
Bobbi died in hospice care months later in July.
Whitney herself lost many friends, who drifted away because of her drug abuse.
Some claimed that after Robyn left, drugs became increasingly important to Whitney.
Broomfield says in his film: “It was kind of a miracle that she lived as long as she did. She went down and kept going.”