Rihanna Tells Oprah That She Still Loves Chris Brown

Rihanna revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.

Rihanna and Oprah Winfrey chat for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” at the singer’s home in Barbados. Photo: Rihanna/Facebook

The “Umbrella” singer told Oprah Winfrey in a television interview broadcast on Sunday that she and Brown, 23, had rebuilt their trust and now had a “very close friendship,” reports Reuters.

Oprah went to the singer’s old neighborhood in Barbados to gain a better understanding of Rihanna’s past.

“I went there with my own ideas about who she was, watching the videos and listening to her music,” Winfrey said in the episode’s trailer. “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.”

Chris Brown was convicted in 2009 of assaulting Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, in a violent attack on the eve of the 2009 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. He apologized publicly and was sentenced to five years probation, community service, domestic violence counseling and was ordered to stay away from Rihanna.

“We’re very, very close friends. We built a trust again and that’s it. We love each other and we probably always will … that’s not something you can shut off, if you’ve ever been in love,” Rihanna said.

“I have forgiven him,” she said, though she admitted: “I was angry for a long time.”

Brown was “the love of my life,” the singer told Winfrey, as she started tear up.

“I think he was the love of my life,” she said. “He was my first love.”

Rihanna said it is hard hiding her feelings when she meets up with Brown.

“It’s awkward because I still love him. My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me…I think he was the love of my life.”

The restraining order was lifted last year and the pair have since teamed up in the studio on 2012 singles “Birthday Cake” and “Turn Up the Music,” fueling speculation that they were back together.

According to Los Angeles Times, Rihanna maintains that she’s single and Brown is “in a relationship of his own,” with model Karrueche Tran.

“I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched … switched in a night and I couldn’t control that,” Rihanna said recalling the assault. “So I had to deal with that, and that’s not easy for me to understand or interpret. It’s not easy to interpret on camera. Not with the world watching.”

“It was a weird, confusing space to be in,” Rihanna told Winfrey. “Because 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? 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.”

“You forgiving him does not mean that you are weak or that you are a victim,” Winfrey told crying Rihanna.

ABC News reports that the singer also talked freely about her career, her family, the recent death of her grandmother and the price of fame. Winfrey also went to the singer’s old neighborhood in Barbados to gain a better understanding of Rihanna’s past.

“I went there with my own ideas about who she was, watching the videos and listening to her music,” Winfrey said in the episode’s trailer. “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.”

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