Yolonda Ross has signed up to play Whitney Houston's longtime good friend and assistant, who was also rumored to be her lesbian lover - Robyn Crawford - in the tentatively titled "Whitney Houston," the upcoming Lifetime Original Movie on the early years of the relationship between Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, which stars Yaya DaCosta Alafia in the title role
Angela Bassett will make her directorial debut with the film, which will chronicle the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown - from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.
Ross' casting comes as director Bassett teased the casting of Bobby Brown on Twitter last night, sharing the following:
Hey Everybody, you good? I found my Bobby... TIME TO WORK!
— Angela Bassett (@ImAngelaBassett) June 18, 2014
I happened to be on Twitter at the time, and, needless to say, I replied to her tweet, asking who the actor is that she's "found" to play Bobby Brown. Of course she wasn't going to give up the deets (I knew that, but one doesn't know unless one asks, right?); but she did reply (which did surprise me), although with just a smiley face. I'll take that, while we wait for an official announcement revealing who this mystery actor is.
Given who Bassett has cast thus far, expect the unexpected. Almost no one thought of Yaya DaCosta Alafia as Whitney, but many were able to *see* her in the role after her casting was made official.
Yolonda Ross' Robyn Crawford, a close friend, was also Whitney's personal assistant. In short, before her marriage to Bobby Brown, Houston's sexuality was repeatedly questioned, as rumors of a lesbian relationship with Crawford traveled - rumors which both Houston and Crawford said weren't true. In response, Houston told Time magazine in 1987, when she was 23, that Crawford was the “sister I never had," adding, "My mother taught me that when you stand in the truth and someone tells a lie about you, don’t fight it. I’m not with any man. I’m not in love. People see Robyn with me, and they draw their own conclusions. Anyway, whose business is it if you’re gay or like dogs? What others do shouldn’t matter. Let people talk. It doesn’t bother me because I know I’m not gay. I don’t care."
A Google search will return many articles on the matter, if you're interested in reading more.
Bassett will direct from a script penned by Shem Bitterman ("Betty & Coretta" - the Lifetime Original Movie that Bassett starred in last year). Larry Sanitsky (who produced "Betty & Coretta") will do the same for "Whitney Houston."
No word yet on the actor who will play Bobby Brown, so we wait...