Oprah travels to Rihanna’s home island of Barbados for a rare, no-holds-barred conversation with the pop superstar about her career, the recent passing of her grandmother and the price of fame. In an emotional discussion, Rihanna reveals how she really feels about her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown—and her relationship with him today.
Then, Rihanna takes Oprah on a drive through her old neighborhood and stops by her childhood home. Plus, Oprah helps Rihanna surprise her mother, Monica Fenty, with a big announcement.
Check out the highlights plus video of the full interview below:
Rihanna on what she learned from her Grandma Dolly
She taught me a lot about forgiveness. She taught me a lot about loving my enemies. She me a lot about spirituality, faith, strength as a woman and the one thing she wants me to do is to marry someone that loves me more than I love them. Because a woman will always give even more than they need to, we’re selfless beings, it’s maternal and with husbands they’ll only meet you halfway if they love you a little more.
Rihanna on Her Fans and What she’d like for them to know
I put a lot of importance in my relationship with my fans. I want them to feel comfortable knowing that I have flaws as well. I want them to know those flaws because I am afraid of the pedestal that comes with fame and being a celebrity so I keep myself as close to the ground as possible. I don’t ever want to be above them [and for them to think] that because they are fans that I am not one of them and they are not one of us. We are all people. We all have a purpose.
Rihanna on if she considers herself a role model
No because of what society has made that title. It has become a title of perfection and that is something that no one can achieve.
Rihanna on the Chris Brown domestic violence incident
I was hurt the most. Nobody felt what I felt. I was hurt because it happened to me. It happened to me in front of the world. It was embarrassing, it was humiliating. It was hurtful. It’s not easy. I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched in a night and I couldn’t control that. I had to deal with that and it’s not easy for me to understand or interpret and it’s not easy for me to interpret on camera with the world watching. So it’s hard for me to pay attention to my mind and figuring things out because now it became a circus and I felt protective. I felt like the only person that they hate right now is him and it was a weird confusing space to be in. Cause’ As angry as I was, as hurt and betrayed, I felt that he made that mistake because he needed help. Who’s going to help him? Nobody is going to say, ‘he needs help’. Everyone is going to say he’s a monster without looking at the source. I was more concerned about him.
On her current relationship with Chris Brown
We’ve been working on our friendship again and now we are very close friends. We’ve built our trust again. We love each other and we will probably always will. That’s not anything you can change or shut off if you’ve ever been in love.
If she’s seeing Chris Brown again
No, he’s in a relationship of his own. I’m single but we have maintained a close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We just worked on it little by little but it’s not easy
On the rumors that she recently saw him in St. Tropez
Yes I did. We went to a mutual friend’s party on a yacht. It’s awkward [when I see him] because I still love him. My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain that and suppress it and interpret it and understand it. And understand that that’s not going to go away. That is peaceful. When you don’t understand those feelings you can make a lot of mistakes.
On if she thinks Chris Brown is a true love for her
Absolutely. I think he was the love of my life. He was my first love and I see that he loved me the same way. We were very young and very spontaneous. We ran free. We ran wild. We were falling in love and going at a really rapid pace that we forgot about ourselves as individuals. We forgot about our personal discipline. We needed something to completely shut that off and show us what we were missing, what we were taking for granted, and if we really care about each other, care about each other’s happiness so it’s not even about us being together. I truly love him so the main thing for me is that he’s at peace. I’m not at peace if he’s a little unhappy or he’s still lonely. I care. It actually matters that he finds that peace.
On if she’s forgiven Chris
I have forgiven him. It took me a long time. I was angry for a long time. I felt like this is not my fault, this is not me doing this but still I had to worry. I was resentful. I had a grudge. I was dark and it was coming out in my music and in my clothes, it was coming out in my attitude and I didn’t like that feeling. It was heavy.
[To get over it] I had to repair my relationship with my dad. I was so angry at him. I was angry about a lot of things from my childhood and I couldn’t separate him as a husband from him as a father. I felt like if he was a bad husband, he was a bad father. I witnessed a lot as a child in my household. [He was] violent. My family broke up because of his addiction. I remember one day thinking, ‘Why can’t I come to a place where I let someone in. Why can’t I love’. I’d get to a place [with guys] where I really liked them and then I’d change. I would never talk to them again and I wanted to know why. And I wanted to know ‘what is my idea of what’s suppose to happen’? It was because I didn’t have a relationship with my father anymore and so I wasn’t able to connect with a man past a certain point.
The minute I was able to realize that my father was probably one of the best fathers in the world…. Like he taught me everything, and as awful as he was to my mom at times, it didn’t compare to how great he was as a father. And I had to come to terms with that and I was able to close that gap with him and all kinds of emotions starting happening after that. All kinds of things started making sense. I thought I hated Chris and I realized it was love that was tarnished. It was ugly, it was angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted and I realized that, I had to forgive him because I cared about him still. And the minute I did that, I started living again. [Once I realized there was a connection between the two [my relationship with my father and my relationship with Chris], I had to go to the source.
I can’t tell people how to feel about it. They are entitled to be angry but I have forgiven him.
On what it would take to find a man like the one ‘Grandma Dolly’ thinks she should have
I don’t put too much [thought] into it. I know what I want. I know if I had it my way, I want a man that loves me, cherishes me, values me.. But they have to know my value in order to value me. They have to know my worth and they can only know my worth if I know my worth. I want him to respect me but I want fun times.
I just want to laugh. I have everything else, all I want is a partner in crime to enjoy it with me.