Rihanna has opened up like never before about getting back together with her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, and what it means for her public image. "I decided it was more important for me to be happy," she tells contributing editor Josh Eells in the new issue of Rolling Stone, out Friday, January 31st. "I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake. After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it."
The couple's public reconciliation comes less than four years since Brown assaulted Rihanna the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards. Brown plead guilty to assault and performed community service, but he remains on probation. "When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," Rihanna says. "You see us walking somewhere, driving somewhere, in the studio, in the club, and you think you know. But it's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about shit. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that."
And Rihanna says that if Brown were ever to display a hint of his past behavior towards her, she is ready to walk. "He doesn't have the luxury of fucking up again," she says. "That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."
"He made a mistake, and he's paid his dues," Rihanna adds. "He's paid so much. And I know that's not a place he would ever want to go back to. And sometimes people need support and encouragement, instead of ridicule and criticism and bashing."