The ‘Whitney’ Biopic Will Feature Her Rumored Gay Lover

Lifetime’s upcoming Lifetime Whitney Houston biopic will feature a controversial rumor surrounding the singer’s life. Robyn Jones, Houston’s best friend and former assistant, was rumored to be her gay lover, and the film is featuring their storyline.

Actress Yolonda Ross has been cast to play Jones. In an interview with The Daily Beast, Ross talked bringing to life a relationship that was squashed and brushed away. She also described how their friendship is portrayed in the film, and that it will not outrightly refer to Houston and Jones as lovers.

“It’s a love and it’s an admiration. So that was played there. How much of it is a love that’s between two lovers is a different story, because that, then, would have called for there to be different kinds of scenes in the movie,” she explained. “I played it as love and longing. Ultimately, what’s happening with them is that the person who Robyn loves is leaving. No matter if you’re lovers or a best friend, when someone you love leaves to get married, your relationship is going to change. That’s what I played.”

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Back in the ‘80s, rumors of an undercover courtship between Houston and Jones hit their climax. The singer referenced them in an interview with TIME, dismissing claims that she and Jones were romantically involved.

“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.”

Whitney premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 17.