Photo Credit: Esquire UK
Rihanna has no problem singing sexy duets with Chris Brown, but don't ask her to talk about him. The "Where Have You Been" singer has provoked fan outrage by maintaining a professional relationship (and apparently, a friendship) with her ex-boyfriend, who pleaded guilty to brutally beating her in 2009. She's discussed Brown in several interviews over the years -- but when he came up in a recent conversation with Esquire UK, the pop singer turned hostile. Not at Brown, mind you; at the reporter.
"This is turning into a tacky interview. What do you really want to talk about? I’m not here to [talk] about messy s***," Rihanna, 24, snapped at the Esquire journalist writing her cover story.
The conversation began innocently enough, with a subject she's talked about many times before: the remixes of "Birthday Cake" and "Turn Up the Music" that she and Brown released earlier this year. The sexy collaboration met with mixed reactions from fans, and stoked rumors that Rihanna and Brown were secretly seeing one another.
"Some love it, some hate it, some love it but still hate that we did it. But the response in the end has been incredible," Rihanna told Esquire about her fans' reaction to the remixes (while dodging a question about whether she'd had contact with Brown before the collaboration).
Interestingly, the pop singer claimed she was surprised that her professional reunion with Brown had caused any controversy at all.
"The whole thing caught me a little off-guard to be honest... especially the amount of... negative attention," she told the magazine. "Because it never occurred to me how this was going to be a problem... I didn't see how people could think it was a bad thing, you know? In my mind, it was just music."
That's the same line of defense that Rihanna used in an interview with Ryan Seacrest back in March, when she declared, "It's music and it's innocent." Unlike Seacrest, however, the Esquire reporter didn't drop the subject -- and that's when Rihanna snapped.
"Some people felt it sent the wrong message... You'd gone back to someone who put you in the hospital," the journalist pointed out.
"Oh really? Did I?" Rihanna responded angrily. "Did I? Did I? Did I?"
Calming down a bit, the singer insisted that she was working with Brown "in a completely professional environment," and that anyone who assumed their relationship was personal "was incorrect and they ended up looking stupid." She also denied playing on her own personal life to further her career by releasing "Love the Way You Lie" (the Eminem duet about domestic violence) after her altercation with Brown.
"There's a lot of s*** y'all can’t get over. Y'all holding your breath on a lot of stuff that doesn't matter," Rihanna fumed. "I'm gonna look back on my life and say that I enjoyed it -- and I lived it for me -- and God. This is turning into a tacky interview... Do you want to talk about everything on Google? Or do you want to talk about stuff that my fans want to know? Let's get to the real stuff. The stuff that's important."
Rihanna may keep things under wraps when it comes to her personal life, but she has no problem exposing her enviable body: On the cover of Esquire UK, she poses topless wearing only dog tags.