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3 September 2020, 11:12
Oprah has re-released her 2012 interview with the 'Work' singer.
*** TRIGGER WARNING: This article recounts details of physical assault.***
This week, Oprah Winfrey chose to re-release her 2012 interview with the Fenty Beauty star, 32, for an episode of her Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Conversations podcast. During the chat, Rihanna opened up about her bond with the 'Questions' singer.
"We’ve been working on our friendship again," she said, three years after Brown infamously assaulted his then-girlfriend in 2009. "Now we’re very very close friends. We’ve built up a trust again, and that’s — we love each other and we probably always will.
"And that’s not something we’re ever going to change. That’s not something you can shut off, if you’ve ever been in love."
She added, "I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love. And I see that he loved me the same way… it’s not even about us being together.
"I truly love him. So the main thing for me is that he’s at peace. I’m not at peace if he’s a little unhappy, or he’s still lonely."
In February 2009, Brown physically assaulted Rihanna on the night of the annual Clive Davis pre-Grammy party, making headlines across the world and resulting in Brown being charged with felony assault.
During the interview, Oprah questioned whether RiRi would consider getting back with Brown. "He’s in a relationship of his own," the Barbadian singer said.
"I’m single but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We’ve just worked on it, little by little, and it has not been easy. It’s not easy."
"I thought I hated Chris and I realized it was love that was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted. And I realized that what it was is I had to forgive him because I cared about him still. And the minute I let go of that, I started living again."
"I was hurt most, nobody felt what I felt," Rihanna explained. "It happened to me. I felt protective. I felt the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird confusing space to be in because as angry as I was, and hurt and betrayed, I felt like he made that mistake because he needed help, and who’s going to help him? I was more concerned about him."
In his 2017 documentary Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life, Brown went into detail about the brutal incident, even recalling how he left Rihanna "spitting blood" after he punched her in the face.
"With a closed fist, like I punched her, and it busted her lip, and when I saw it I was in shock, I was "F**k, why did I hit her like that?" he said. "So from there she’s... spitting blood in my face, it raised me even more. It’s a real fight in the car, and we driving in the street."
The R&B singer was sentenced to five years of probation, one year of domestic violence counselling, and six months of community service for the assault.
The couple briefly reunited in 2013, making a surprise appearance at the Grammys together that year, before calling off their relationship for good shortly after.