Rihanna: I Won't Apologize for Being Friends with Chris Brown

The singer says she doesn't care if people are upset that she's buried the hatchet with her abusive ex because she's "going to do what I want to do"

Rihanna is far more forgiving than her fans when it comes to Chris Brown. In recent months, it's become clear that Rihanna is on pretty good terms with the ex-boyfriend who brutally assaulted her three years ago: They recently collaborated on two remixed singles and have been spotted partying at the same club, even sparking rumors that they were once again romantically involved. Has Rihanna noticed the backlash against their renewed friendship? She certainly has -- and she doesn't care.

"The bottom line is that everyone thinks differently. It's very hard for me to accept, but I get it," Rihanna, 24, tells Elle. "People end up wasting their time on the blogs or whatever, ranting away, and that's all right. Because tomorrow I'm still going to be the same person. I'm still going to do what I want to do."

As for that nasty altercation with Brown in 2009, Rihanna says that it was ultimately... empowering?

"It gave me guns," she says of the well-publicized fallout. "I was like, well, f***. They know more about me than I want them to know. It's embarrassing. But that was my opening. That was my liberation, my moment of bring it... Now you know that, so you can say what you want about it. I don't have anything to hide."

Okay, maybe she's just trying to say that it was a learning experience, or something. But why does Rihanna always use words like "embarrassing" when she talks about the time Brown put her in the hospital? It wasn't a wardrobe malfunction; it was a felony, and she was the victim. What's more, she seems totally baffled that her fans are still angry -- even saying that she and Brown want their fans to "come together." But here's the point that Rihanna is missing: Her fans are angry because she's not, and somebody has to be.

The good news is that Rihanna wants to move on with a new relationship, although she seems to be finding it shockingly difficult to find a man.

"I feel like it's hard for everybody! I don't think it has anything to do with being famous. There's just a major drought out there," she tells Elle. "But I just need to find the person who balances me out, because then things like my schedule won't matter. I've done it before, so I know I can do it again."

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