Rihanna sat down with Oprah Winfrey this past Sunday to discuss her career, her relationships, and why it’s been so hard for her to let go of Chris Brown after their infamous physical altercation. What she revealed shocked many viewers.
“We love each other and we probably always will, and that’s not anything that we’re going to try to change,” the singer said. “I think he was the love of my life. He was my first love and I see that he loved me the same way. I truly love him. The main thing for me is he’s at peace. I’m not at peace if he’s not happy or he’s still lonely. I care. It actually matters that he finds that peace.”
Fans were shocked and angry after the news broke in 2009 that Brown had assaulted Rihanna after an argument, leaving her battered and bloody. Photos of her injuries quickly went viral on the web, causing a near-catastrophic wave of backlash crashing in Brown’s direction; many felt his punishment of five years probation, community service, and domestic violence counseling wasn’t severe enough. But Rihanna, despite being angry, wanted to protect Brown from that backlash.
“I felt protective,” she said. “I felt like the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird confusing space to be in because to be as angry and as angry and as hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help, and who’s gonna help him? Nobody’s gonna say he needs help. Everybody’s gonna say he’s a monster without looking at the source. I was more concerned about him.”
She also admitted the media circus that surrounded the story–and continue to plague both her and Brown–has brought a crushing feeling of loneliness. But the good that came from finally being able to forgive her ex–as well as forgiving and reconciling with her father, who was abusive to her mother–has brought a lot of positive changes to her life.
“I can’t tell people how to feel about it. They’re entitled to feel angry because it wasn’t a good thing that happened,” Rihanna continued. “But I have forgiven him.”