Reflections of RiRi. Music superstar and fashion icon Rihanna opened up to Vanity Fair in its November 2015 cover story about her past with Chris Brown, and why she got back together with the singer after he brutally assaulted her back in 2009.
"I was that girl," she told the mag. "That girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I’m one of those people built to handle s–t like this. Maybe I’m the person who’s almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they’re not strong enough, when they’re not understanding the world, when they just need someone to encourage them in a positive way and say the right thing."
In fact, the "FourFiveSeconds" songstress, 27, thought she could change him. "A hundred percent. I was very protective of him," Rihanna explained. "I felt that people didn’t understand him. Even after … 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."
The two even collaborated together on multiple tracks, including "Put It Up." Meanwhile, Rihanna was aware of the public's reaction to their brief reunion from late 2012 to the summer of 2013 — and the state of her heart. "If you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that’s when I finally had to say, ‘Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this,'" she dished. "Sometimes you just have to walk away."
Despite their complex past, Rihanna told VF: "I don’t hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We’re not friends, but it’s not like we’re enemies. We don’t have much of a relationship now."
However, she wishes the subject of Brown and his domestic abuse would be left behind. "It's not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can't just dismiss it like it wasn't anything, or I don't take it seriously," she reflected. "But, for me, and anyone who's been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less than 200 times, is like… I have to be punished for it? It didn't sit well with me."
Though her public persona is notoriously raunchy at times, Rihanna told the mag that she's much more conservative than most lead on. "Some guys … I don’t even have their number. You would not even believe it," she joked of the constant rumors surrounding her love life. “I’m serious, hand to God.”
In fact, she personally cannot have sex for fun. "If I wanted to I would completely do that. I am going to do what makes me feel happy, what I feel like doing. But that would be empty for me; that to me is a hollow move. I would wake up the next day feeling like s–t," she shared. "That’s why I haven’t been having sex or even really seeing anybody. Because I don’t want to wake up the next day feeling guilty. I mean I get horny, I’m human, I’m a woman, I want to have sex. But what am I going to do — just find the first random cute dude that I think is going to be a great ride for the night and then tomorrow I wake up feeling empty and hollow? He has a great story and I’m like … what am I doing? I can’t do it to myself. I cannot. It has a little bit to do with fame and a lot to do with the woman that I am. And that saves me."
In the long run, she's looking for her own Prince Charming… to come riding along on a bike. "A very extraordinary gentleman, with a lot of patience, will come along when I least expect it. And I don’t want it right now. I can’t really be everything for someone. This is my reality right now," the "American Oxygen" singer reflected, adding that she would "not [want a man] on a white horse. Probably on a black motorcycle."
For now, she's okay on her own. "I’m fine being with myself. I don’t want to really let anybody in. I’ve got too much on my plate, and I’m not even worried about it," she shared. Rihanna's highly anticipated eighth album is expected to drop sometime this year. "It is lonely, but I have so much work to do that I get distracted. I don’t have time to be lonely. And I get fearful of relationships because I feel guilty about wanting someone to be completely faithful and loyal, when I can’t even give them 10 percent of the attention that they need. It’s just the reality of my time, my life, my schedule."
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!