Rihanna, who was brutally attacked by singer Chris Brown three years ago, says she still loves him and misses him sometimes.
"We love each other and we probably always will, and that's not anything that we're going to try to change," Rihanna said on Oprah Winfrey’s Next Chapter on Sunday Night.
She also addressed the infamous 2009, pre-Grammy beat down that left her face battered and Brown facing assault charges.
"I felt protective," Rihanna said. "I felt like the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird, confusing space to be in. 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," Rihanna added. "Everybody's going to say he's a monster without looking at the source . . . and I was more concerned about him."
Reading those quotes from the interview in US Weekly gave me pause. I’m all about forgiveness, but I don’t understand trying to be friends with abusers.
For perspective, I called my domestic abuse go-to-person, Brenda L. Thomas, whose 2007 memoir, Laying Down My Burdens, describes years of beatings and other torment that she suffered at the hands of her ex-husband. When I read some of what Rihanna said to Thomas she didn’t seem surprised.
“She probably still thinks that some of it was her fault,” Thomas added. “(My ex) hit me with a sledge hammer and I went back to him…he broke my collarbone and I went back. “
“After I left my husband, it took me at least six years to cut things off emotionally.”
To really free herself, Rihanna will need professional help, said Thomas, who was in and out of therapy herself for many years.
“What kind of help is she getting?” Thomas asked. “Just because she’s forgiven him and he’s supposedly gotten help doesn’t mean she should be back with him. That whipping he gave her didn’t pop up out of nowhere.”