Whitney Houston's friends have claimed she was in a relationship with her female assistant.

The 'I Will Always Love You' singer - who died in 2012 aged 48 - is the focus of a new Showtime documentary, 'Whitney: Can I Be Me', which explores how close she was to Robyn Crawford, 56, and looks back on the highs and lows of her life, and one of her pals believes she was bisexual.

Whitney's dresser Ellin Lavar says: ''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.''

The star's former bodyguard David Roberts has claimed Robyn and Whitney's ex-husband Bobby Brown used to clash over their affections for the 'Greatest Love Of All' hitmaker.

He says: ''Bobby Brown and Robyn Crawford together were the equivalent of fire and water, petrol and a short fuse - they hated each other. Simple. They would battle for her affections and they would battle for her attention, mainly to identify with the hate they had for each other.''

Documentary maker Nick Broomfield believes Whitney and Robyn's relationship was the ''closest'' she had ''for 15 years'', and insisted they often shared a bed together.

He told MailOnline: ''It's almost like people want the condom or here's the stained sheet. I don't know what kind of conclusive proof one wants except this is the closest relationship for years that Whitney had.

''They shared a house together; they often shared the same bed. I think the most important thing is that it was the most productive, supportive and creative relationship that she had for probably 15 years.''

In 2015, it was claimed Whitney was the victim of an extortion plot over the alleged lesbian affair.

It was claimed in book 'Whitney & Bobbi Kristina: The Deadly Price of Fame' that a heavily-redacted FBI file on the late singer stated she was asked for $250,000 from a Chicago lawyer on the night before the premiere of her 1992 movie 'The Bodyguard'.

The lawyer reportedly told an FBI agent their information included ''knowledge of intimate details regarding Whitney Houston's romantic relationships'' and that they would ''go public with the information''.

But her father John Houston was said to have ''settled the matter by sending a confidentiality agreement almost immediately''.