Welp. There’s no denying it now. Rihanna is officially back together with Chris Brown, less than four years after he assaulted her to the point of hospitalization the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards. In the new issue of Rolling Stone, on stands this Friday (but excerpted quotes are already making the rounds), the singer is pretty straight up about her reasons for taking back her abusive ex. Check out some quotes from the interview, after the jump…
On ending their relationship after the 2009 domestic violence incident:
“I wanted him to know what it felt like to lose me. To feel the consequences of that. So when that (stuff) came back it hit me like a ton of bricks. Like, God, you’ve got to be kidding right now. But I got real with myself, and I just couldn’t bury the way I felt.”
It’s unclear to me what she’s referring to when she says “when that (stuff) came back.” Is she suggesting that after a few years of being apart, she was ready to forgive and forget, but the public/media wouldn’t let her forget “that stuff”?
On knowing she would be criticized for getting back together with Brown:
“But I decided it was more important for me to be happy, and I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of that. Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake. After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I’d rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it.”
Fair enough. It is her life and I certainly hope, for her sake, that he has changed so much that their reunion isn’t a mistake for her. My problem with Rihanna’s reaction to the criticism she and Brown have gotten is that she seems unaware — or doesn’t care — that, by being public figures, their actions and choices influence the opinions and actions of those watching them. Maybe Chris Brown will never lay a hand on Rihanna again, but I fear that her willingness to take him back and her general “fuck the haters” attitude about it may influence impressionable young girls and women to take back their abusive boyfriends, who may have no intention of changing.
On how she and Brown’s relationship has changed:
“When you add up the pieces from the outside, it’s not the cutest puzzle in the world. You see us walking somewhere, driving somewhere, in the studio, in the club, and you think you know. But it’s different now. We don’t have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about (stuff). We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don’t want to lose that.”
I realize that it’s common, as part of a couple, to use “we” a lot, but I’m bothered that she’s talking as if both of them needed to do equal amounts of changing in order to get back together. “We don’t have those types of arguments anymore” suggests that she, Rihanna, holds herself at least partially responsible for the infamous assault.
On what she’ll do if Brown hits her again:
“He doesn’t have the luxury of fucking up again. That’s just not an option. I can’t say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I’m pretty solid in the knowing that he’s disgusted by that. And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility.”
I certainly hope this is true. But given Brown’s history of violence in general — including allegedly punching Frank Ocean this past weekend — I’m not all that confident.