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Rihanna To Oprah: Chris Brown 'Needed Help' (VIDEO)

08/16/2012 12:58 pm ET | Updated Aug 16, 2012

As if a $16M lawsuit weren't problematic enough, Rihanna says her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown has had even bigger issues on his hands, issues that may have prompted their fateful fight back in 2009.

"It was a weird, confusing space to be in," Rihanna said of the fight in a tearful taping of "Oprah's Next Chapter," set to air on Sunday, August 19. "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 went on to say.

Following the incident, Rihanna split from Brown, but says she still felt "protective" of him and the firestorm that would ensue.

"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 told Oprah.

Despite pleading guilty to felony assault and being ordered to stay away from the singer, the status of Brown and Rihanna's relationship has continued to raise questions over the last year.

The following month, Rihanna blasted Brown's girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, in a series of tweets that some called proof that the couple was dating again.

And in June, Brown and rapper Drake reportedly ruined a New York City night club in a brawl that the club owner says arose over their "shared grudge... arising out of their romantic relationships with the same woman," meaning mutual ex Rihanna.

But as contentious as her more recent public encounters have been, Oprah's sit-down with the singer revealed a much more sensitive side. "I thought she was going to be kind of badass," Oprah says in a promo for Sunday's interview, adding that "Nothing could have been further from the truth."

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