In another excerpt from Oprah’s fascinating interview with Rihanna that airs on Sunday, the pop diva says that even though she felt angry and betrayed by Chris Brown’s brutalizing of her, she still felt protective of him him because she knew he needed help.
With tears choking her up, Rihanna reveals that the conflict and her relationship with Brown was a lot deeper than what the public saw back in 2009 when he beat her up.
“I lost my best friend,” she says. “Everything I knew switched in a night.”
“It was a weird, confusing space to be in,” Rihanna said during the interview on “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” scheduled to air on Sunday. “As angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help … and who’s going to help him?”
After the incident, Rihanna left Brown, but she says she still felt “protective” of him.
“Nobody’s going to say he needs help. Everybody’s going to say he’s a monster without looking at the source … and I was more concerned about him,” she said to Oprah.
But while the public will praise Rihanna for revealing her sensitive side—particularly when she has been portrayed as a heart-breaking, hard partying monster herself in recent years—surely domestic abuse experts will say that she is identifying with her abuser in much the same way that most victims of domestic abuse do. And that inclination is what causes many of them to stick around and continue to get abused—because they think the abuser needs them and if they leave there will be no one else to help him.
Because the interview airs on Sunday, this will likely be the last clip that Oprah’s people cleverly feed to the public to whet their appetite.
In previous tidbits, Rihanna also talked about her famous breakup with Brown, tearfully telling Oprah, “It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. I lost my best friend,” the 24-year-old said.
“I was resentful, I held a grudge, I was dark,” she adds.
In addition to a musical collaboration between the two of them earlier this year, there have been numerous reports of late-night rendezvous in the French Riviera aboard fancy yachts.
In her own promotional video talking about her trip, Oprah directly addresses the camera and says, “I went there with my own ideas about who she was. I thought she was going to be a bad ass, a hard edge rocker, pop woman. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.”
Oprah says, “She was thoughtful”—then the camera cuts to Rihanna saying, “I’m super duper afraid of the pedastal that comes with fame.”
Oprah says, “She was very emotional”—then the camera cuts to a clip of Rihanna crying.
Oprah says, “She was vulnerable”—the camera cuts to Rihanna saying, “It’s amazing how lonely you can feel.”
“She pushes the edge a lot and there’s a reason for that; and I came away getting a great sense of who she was. I was surprised at how good a driver she was,” Oprah says, as the screen shows Rihanna driving the two of them through Barbados.
“This is how you know who somebody is, how people react to them,” Oprah says as the screen shows Rihanna hugging an older friend from the neighborhood. “Going back to the neighborhood, it wasn’t like this was a big superstar, mega star, pop star had returned to the neighborhood. It was just Robin—as though she had gone to the grocery store and came back. It was great. It was great to see. I hope you’ll join me for a really get-down conversation with Rihanna.”