More than three years after Rihanna was assaulted by Chris Brown, the singer stopped by the OWN Network for a intimate interview with Oprah. The singer offered up details about the 2009 incident in which Brown attacked her on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey to be broadcast on Sunday, a tearful Rihanna said: “Everything I knew switched in a night, and I couldn’t control that.”
The singer went on to say that she was afraid of what would happen to Brown after the incident became public. “It became a circus and I felt protective,” the singer explained. “Who’s gonna help him? Nobody’s gonna say he needs help. Everybody’s gonna say he’s a monster without looking at the source.”
In 2009, Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. The attack — in which police said Brown bit, punched and choked his then-girlfriend — erupted as the couple sat in a car in the Hancock Park neighborhood after a pre-Grammy Awards party.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Brown was placed on five years’ probation, required to attend a yearlong domestic violence prevention class and complete six months of what the judge termed “community labor” — a more restrictive form of community service in which he was required to perform such tasks as picking up trash or removing graffiti.
In the interview, Rihanna said she was angry at Brown but also felt protective of him. “I was more concerned about him.”