All things said and done, Chris Brown and Rihanna remain on good terms. Although the “With You” singer, 28, made headlines for wishing his ex-girlfriend well on her 30th birthday in an unexpected Instagram tribute, a source exclusively reveals to Us Weekly that the former couple are very close.
“Fans might have been surprised that Chris wished Rihanna a happy birthday so very publicly on social media,” the source noted. “However, they are good friends and talk all the time.”
Many Rihanna devotees lashed out at Brown for the birthday shoutout and urged him to remove the post. The pair’s tumultuous one-year relationship ended after Brown attacked Rihanna in his car while en route to a Grammy Awards party in 2009. The “Crawl” singer pleaded guilty to the assault and accepted a plea deal that included nearly five years of probation and one year of domestic violence counseling. Although the singers briefly reunited in 2012, they officially called it quits in mid-2013.
“I was very protective of him,” the “Needed Me” songstress told Vanity Fair in November 2015 of her ex. “I felt that people didn’t understand him. … But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation, you’re the enemy. You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I’m willing to put up with something, they think less of you — because they know you don’t deserve what they’re going to give.”
Brown opened up about his relationship with the “Work” singer in his June 2017 documentary, Welcome to My Life. “My trust was totally lost with her, she hated me after that. I tried everything, she didn’t care. She just didn’t trust me after that,” he recalled. “From there, it just went downhill because there were too many verbal fights, physical fights as well. Mutual sides. It is the first time I get to say anything. We would fight each other. She would hit me, I would hit her and it never was OK.”
Rihanna has since moved on with Saudi billionaire businessman Hassan Jameel.