American Idol winner and Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks says Whitney Houston “loved her gays.”

Houston played Emma Williams in Sparkle opposite Sparks, who played Sparkle Williams, before Houston's tragic death in February. The film opens next Friday.

In an interview with Michigan weekly Pride Source, Sparks dismissed rumors that she grew up in a Christian family which did not accept gay people.

“That's all stuff that people write,” she said. “I grew up in a Christian family, but I have cousins and I have tons of friends [who are gay]. Some of my closest friends are actually gay, and some of my band members are, as well. So, for me, I'm just like, whatever! Those are just mean things that people say.”

When asked if Houston talked about her gay fans on the set of Sparkle, Sparks answered: “No, but her family would tell us. They'd be like, 'She loves her gays, honey,' and there have been a few other reporters who have interviewed her before and she absolutely represented. Hello! How can you not?”