Rihanna dared facing the wrath of fans, media and other critics to be bravely honest in her new Oprah interview. Chris Brown owes her a big thank you.
Rihanna -- you love, love, love Chris Brown. You said it and you have now demonstrated it in multiple ways. First of all, you made what had to be a wrenching decision to give Oprah an interview on Aug. 19, on her OWN network, knowing that she would ask you about your relationship with Chris Brown before and after the assault.
You knew that and you wanted to go ahead with it anyway. In fact, I believe you did this interview on purpose, specifically to reveal your truth about Chris Brown. You must have felt that it was time -- that you were ready to discuss Chris honestly. After all, you've been asked multiple, multiple times about your feelings toward him since the assault and until recently you've given just vague or angry answers. Only in the September issue of Harper's Bazaar did you admit that you had been "really, really in love" before the awful incident, but you didn't actually call Chris out by name.
Rihanna, you must have been sick of the secrecy surrounding your renewed relationship. You must have felt despite the rumored disapproval of your management team and the potential backlash from your fans, that you were carrying around a burden, that you were holding too many secrets inside. After all, secrets can eat away at a person and clearly you've had a multitude of secrets that you've had to keep inside your young self.
You're just 24 and we learned in your Oprah interview that not only did you have to cope with losing "my best friend" and "the love of my life" after the assault, but you also were damaged by growing up in a family where your father was abusive toward your mother.
No wonder you felt such a connection to Chris when you were a couple. He had a stepfather who violently abused his mother -- you two no doubt had bonded, among other things, over being able to talk about your traumatized childhoods.
It also explains why you admitted in your Oprah interview that you felt "protective" toward Chris after he assaulted you and that you were concerned that people would see him only as a "monster" when he really needed "help." They didn't know "the source" of his anger and problems, you said, like you did.
So Rihanna, you have protected Chris by alluding to his sad childhood, by telling the world that you've forgiven him and that you and he are "working on our friendship again. We're very close friends."
When you let the world know that you and Chris have "built a trust again," what you're really telling fans and other people is that they can also trust Chris again.
When you said that you are ready to move on and that you can love him again, you're also telling the world to move on and let Chris be at peace.
"I truly love him. The main thing for me is that he's at peace. I'm not at peace if he's a little unhappy or still lonely. I care. It actually matters that he finds peace," you told Oprah in your extraordinary TV interview.
Chris, Rihanna's confessions were truly astounding.
Rihanna, you outed yourself as a woman who is still deeply in love with Chris, a man who now has another girlfriend. How many women, who are not officially with a man, would ever confess to that except to their closest friends.
Rihanna, you admitted to the world that when you see Chris you basically have to pretend in front of other people that you don't care. "It's awkward. I still love him. My stomach drops. I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the other part of me," you explained.
You even acknowledged respectfully the fact that Chris is in another relationship, while you clearly aren't ready to be with anyone else -- sorry, Drake, but you aren't anywhere close to being in this picture.
Finally, Rihanna, you pretty much told your critics to butt out of the situation. You're tired of being seen as a victim, you realize that people will criticize you for forgiving Chris and they're entitled to feel that way, but since the assault happened to you, you're also entitled to make your own decisions about your relationship with Chris.
"It happened to me," you insisted. "And it happened to me in front of the world. No one could feel the hurt more than me."
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