Photo Credit: Ida Mae Astute/ABC
This morning, the pop superstar Rihanna appeared on Good Morning America in part of an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer. Attractive as always (glossy lips, big lashes, form-fitting dress), and quite poised, she explains why it's taken her nine months to speak out about her toxic relationship with ex-boyfriend (and equally famous pop singer) Chris Brown.
She tells Sawyer that she was ashamed. "I fell in love with that person," she says. "That's embarrassing."
Last February, Brown made headlines for allegedly assaulting a woman. Then a photo of Rihanna's bruised and swollen face (leaked from the Los Angeles Police Department) was splashed across the front page of several newspapers. Fans of both singers were stunned. Rihanna withdrew from public life, not talking to the press--even as Brown spent the next several months going through some very public legal wrangling. (On June 22, 2009, Brown pled guilty to felony assault, and in August was sentenced to five years of probation, six months of community service and a year of domestic violence counseling.)
While practically everyone else has had an opinion about what transpired between these two, Rihanna kept silent. Until now. "There are a lot of women who have experienced what I did, but not in the public," she says. "So it made it really difficult. I just felt like, oh my God, there goes my little bit of privacy."
A few weeks after the beating, Rihanna says that she was "so far in love, so unconditional, that I went back." Today, she's ashamed of that decision and says that she and Brown have split for good. "I don't want that to happen again," she says. "That's not what I want to teach people. When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl being killed, I could not be easy with that."
That realization, she says, was her motive for speaking out now. "I didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives until that happened. Even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that they won't kill these young girls?...It was a wake-up call for me. Big time."
She also has some unequivocal advice for domestic abuse victims. "Don't react out of love," she says. "F love. Come out of the situation and look at it from the third person, and then make your decision. Because love is so blind."
But the timing of her interview troubles a lot of people, since her latest album, Rated R, arrives in stores on November 23. "Possibly new song promotion is the reason for her to do this," chimed one iVillage visitor yesterday.
It's understandable that Rihanna wasn't eager to talk publicly about the situation. Few victims of domestic abuse are. But she also had to get back to work, and part of her job is talking to the press to promote her albums. Would Rihanna have granted this interview with Sawyer if she didn't have an album to promote? We'll never know.
The full interview will air tomorrow night on 20/20 on ABC at 10 PM E.T.
Do you think Rihanna is brave for speaking out? Chime in below!