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”