For Rihanna, a Sunday sit-down on “Oprah’s Next Chapter” might well have been called “A Whole New Can of Worms.”
The Barbados native revealed to Oprah Winfrey that she and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown have built a very close friendship, and that it is awkward for the singer to see him, as she’s still in love with him.
“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,” she said (video below).
Rihanna tearfully recounted the February 2009 night when Brown attacked her, ending their relationship and sending a ripple through their fan and industry communities. Oprah, who visited Rihanna in her hometown, pressed on about rumors of the two recently spending time together.
“It’s awkward because I still love him,” she said of seeing Brown. "... My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face."
Lingering feelings aside, Rihanna maintains that she’s single and Brown is “in a relationship of his own,” with model Karrueche Tran.
While some factions of Rihanna Navy and Team Breezy, Rihanna’s and Brown’s respective legions of Twitter followers, have always expressed desire for a reconciliation, Rihanna said the path to forgiveness began in February when a court-mandated restraining order protecting her from Brown was lifted.
That led to a March musical collaboration on a remix of her track “Cake.” The response was mixed at best.
It’s interesting to note that, at the time of Brown’s shocking attack — he pleaded guilty to felony assault — he criticized Oprah for not including him when she discussed the incident on her daytime talk show. Yet Oprah had some positive words for Rihanna’s current outlook on Brown, in the context of her healing.
“You forgiving him does not mean that you are weak or that you are a victim,” she told Rihanna.
And don’t think Rihanna and Oprah are the only ones with forgiveness on the brain. It seems a number of women agree. In a survey of 1,000 people conducted by social travel service Gogobot, Breezy was the top celeb that women 18-25 would like to vacation with.
Watch Riri’s interview and then give us your thoughts in the comments.