In February 2009 Brown admitted to physically assaulting Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time, the night of the Grammy Awards. He was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to stay 50 yards away from the Umbrella singer.
Rihanna, 32, previously opened up to Oprah Winfrey about forgiving Brown, and the quotes have now resurfaced in a new episode of Oprah’s Supersoul Coversations podcast.
The singer told Oprah’s Next Chapter in 2012: “We’ve been working on our friendship again. Now we’re very very close friends. We’ve built up a trust again, and that’s – we love each other and we probably always will. And that’s not something we’re ever going to change. That’s not something you can shut off, if you’ve ever been in love.
“I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love. And I see that he loved me the same way… it’s not even about us being together. I truly love him. So the main thing for me is that he’s at peace. I’m not at peace if he’s a little unhappy, or he’s still lonely.”
Asked if they have rekindle their romance the Diamonds singer said: “He’s in a relationship of his own. I’m single but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We’ve just worked on it, little by little, and it has not been easy. It’s not easy.”
Opening up to Oprah, Rihanna revealed that it was repairing her relationship with her father – who was abusive to her mother – that led her to forgive 31-year-old Brown.
She explained: “I repaired my relationship with my dad. I was so angry with him, and I was just angry about a lot of things from my childhood and I couldn’t separate him as a husband from him as a father.”
Rihanna added of her feelings towards Brown: “I thought I hated Chris and I realised it was love was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted. And I realised that what it was is I had to forgive him because I cared about him still. And the minute I let go of that, I started living again.”
The singer also admitted that in the immediate aftermath of Brown’s assault in 2009, her main concern was for him, not for herself.
She said: “I was hurt most, nobody felt what I felt. It happened to me…
“I felt protective. I felt the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird confusing space to be in because as angry as I was, and hurt and betrayed, I felt like he made that mistake because he needed help, and who’s going to help him?”
Rihanna added: “I was more concerned about him.”