When Oprah Winfrey traveled to Rihanna‘s native Barbados to interview her about her life, her music, and her relationship with Chris Brown, she probably wasn’t expecting Rihanna to be quite as candid as she was. The pop star opened up about her history with Chris Brown, the horrifying incident that sent her life into a tailspin, and their current relationship. Rihanna’s episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter” aired Sunday night and was extremely revealing.
Perhaps most interesting was her admission that in the days after Brown attacked her, Rihanna’s primary concern was for his well-being. “I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help. And who’s going to help him?” she told Oprah.
As for their relationship now, which has been the subject of major speculation since the court-mandated restraining order was lifted, Rihanna says they’re very close. “We’ve been working on our friendship again and now we’re very close friends. We’ve built a trust again and that’s it,” she says. “We love each other and we probably always will. And that’s not anything that we’re going to try to change. It’s not something you can just turn off, when you’re in love with someone.”
Indeed, despite the fact that she confirms that Brown is in a relationship with someone else, Rihanna admits that she still harbors very strong feelings for him — and when she runs into him at parties, she has a barrage of emotions.
“It’s awkward,” she reveals. “Because I still love him. My stomach drops. I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain that and suppress it… and understand that that’s not going to go away. That is peaceful.”
She still speaks of their relationship before the assault as an idyllic, whirlwind romance. “He was the first love, and I see that he loved me the same way. We were very young and very spontaneous. We ran free, we ran wild, we were falling in love and going at a really rapid place, that we forgot about ourselves as individuals,” she explains. “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. I care. It matters that he finds that peace.”
Rihanna witnessed violence in her own home as a child and she says that forgiving her father for his failures as a husband helped her to forgive Brown. “I thought I hated Chris, and I realized it was love that was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, it was angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted. I had to forgive him because I cared about him still.”