Rihanna Thought She Could Change Chris Brown: "I Was That Girl"
They've parted ways since then, and although both have kept rather quiet about why they did, Rihanna opened up about their relationship to Vanity Fair in a new article.
"I was that girl," Rihanna told the mag about why she got back together with him back then. "That girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I'm one of those people built to handle shit like this. Maybe I'm the person who's almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they're not strong enough, when they're not understanding the world, when they just need someone to encourage them in a positive way and say the right thing."
When asked if she thought she could change Chris, Rihanna said, "A hundred percent," adding, "I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn't understand him. Even after ... But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you're the enemy. You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I'm willing to put up with something, they think less of you—because they know you don't deserve what they're going to give."
"And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that's when I finally had to say, 'Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this,'" she continued. "Sometimes you just have to walk away.. I don't hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We're not friends, but it's not like we're enemies. We don't have much of a relationship now."
Before they got back together in 2012, Chris infamously assaulted Rihanna and left her brutally battered on the side of a street the night before the Grammys in 2009. When asked if she thought she would always be the "poster child for victims of domestic abuse," Rihanna said, "Well, I just never understood that...like how the victim gets punished over and over."
"It's in the past, and I don't want to say 'Get over it,' because it's a very serious thing that is still relevant; it's still real," she continued. "A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It's not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can't just dismiss it like it wasn't anything, or I don't take it seriously. But, for me, and anyone who's been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like ... I have to be punished for it? It didn't sit well with me."
Rihanna has been asked about the incident over and over - as has Chris - since it happened. And although she's understandably tired of talking about it, sharing her story has probably helped more of her fans than she could ever know. So, we have to give her props for continuing to be open about a topic that isn't the easiest thing to talk to people about.