Robert De Niro Wanted to Date Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston’s most known relationship is her 14-year marriage to Bobby Brown. The union was tabloid fodder, with rumors about turmoil and addiction constantly making headlines. But Houston also had some other romances, and apparently major admirers. In a resurfaced interview clip, Houston told a talk show host that actor Robert De Niro pursued her for many years.

Whitney Houston and Robert De Niro
Whitney Houston and Robert De Niro via Getty

Whitney Houston jokes that Robert De Niro was ‘sweating her’

Houston made an appearance on The Byron Allen Show in 1990. During their conversation Houston says De Niro was basically chasing her around the world in an attempt to woo her.

“[He followed me] all the way to London,” she told Allen. “I think he was there already and he sent me flowers and everything. He’s been on my case, he’d been sweating me for a little while.”

Source: YouTube

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Around the same time, Houston was also casually dating Eddie Murphy, which the tabloids gossiped about often. When asked how she was handling two superstars fawning over her at the same time, Houston didn’t know what to make of it. Allen explained that both men attended Houston’s show at Carnegie Hall.

“Lord have mercy, I’m so popular, I can’t stand it,” she joked. “Yeah, he [De Niro] called me that night. He was a little bit shy so he didn’t want to come to the show. He shies away from the public eye. But since then, he had sending me flowers and he wanted to get to know me better.”

She also noted that De Niro was interested in doing a movie with Houston. Houston’s first movie role would be the international box office smash The Bodyguard released in 1992. Still, at the time, she admired De Niro’s chops.

“I think he’s a wonderful actor, one of the best,” she gushed to Allen.

The singer went on to marry Bobby Brown and says jealousy and outside forced ended their marriage

The reason Houston ignored both De Niro and Murphy’s advances was more than likely because she had her eye on Brown. The two singers met at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards and began dating shortly after.

They married at Houston’s New Jersey mansion in July 1992. Their daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, was born in March 1993. From the start, much of the public did not understand the attraction, likening Brown to a playboy and Houston to a darling musical princess. The result was constant media scrutiny.

While Houston and Brown admit to marital trouble, including drug and alcohol abuse and infidelity, they also insist that the constant media influence made it difficult to maintain their relationship. 

Source: YouTube

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In 2006, Houston filed for divorce. She told Oprah Winfrey that the filing was a long time coming during a 2009 interview and said Brown was jealous of her success.

“He put everything to the side and said, ‘I’ll go with you, don’t worry about it, we’ll do this thing,’” Houston said of Brown’s decision to travel with her and raise their family during the height of her success. She says he later resented her for it.

“I think somewhere inside, something happens to a man when a woman has that much control and that much fame,” she continued. She says Brown was supportive and loving but the public’s constant comparison of their careers made him envious. “We had a lot of people antagonizing and try to pull at us.”

Houston later dated singer and family friend Ray J, who was more than a decade her junior. Brown married Alicia Ethridge, a music manager, in 2012.