In an TV interview set to air on August 19th, Rihanna opens up to Oprah Winfrey about ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and the infamous 2009 incident in which he beat her the night before she was to perform on the Grammys. Sobbing on camera, the singer says she felt protective of Brown and worried that he would be demonized. Still, the altercation left Rihanna in emotional tatters.
"It was embarrassing, it was humiliating," Rihanna tells Winfrey. "I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched, switched in a night, and I couldn't control that." The situation unsettled Rihanna, putting her in a "weird, confusing space" with layers of complexity. "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?" she continues.
"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 says.
Though Winfrey came into the interview expecting a battle-hardened Rihanna, she says the experience defied her preconceptions. "I thought she was going to be kind of a badass, kind of a hard-edged rocker, pop woman. Nothing could have been further from the truth," Winfrey said.
The Rihanna interview with Oprah Winfrey airs August 19th on Winfrey's OWN network.