What’s the Buzz? Rihanna

So, Rihanna did an interview with Oprah and the world is all a buzz.

One of the chief topics of the interview was Chris Brown, their past (and current?) relationship, and the assault that left Rihanna bruised and bloodied in February 2009.  I’ve copied some of the most talked about quotes here for those of you who maybe have not seen the interview:

“I was hurt the most. Nobody felt what I felt…It happened. It happened to me…It was embarrassing. It was humiliating. It was hurtful. I lost my best friend…Everything I knew, was switched in a night”-Rihanna remembers the night Chris Brown attacked her in 2009.

“I felt protective…as angry as I was…I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help and who’s going to help him?”-Rihanna’s initial reaction to feeling bad for Chris.

“We’ve been working on our friendship again. Now we’re very very close friends. We built a trust again. We love each other and probably always will… I’m single but we’ve maintained a very close friendship”-On her current relationship with Chris.

“It’s awkward. It’s awkward 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”-on having funny feelings when she still sees Chris Brown (as recent as this summer in St. Tropez)

“Absolutely. I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love. 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”-Rihanna reveals that Chris Brown was a true love of her life.

“I truly love him so the main thing for me is that he is at peace. I’m not at peace if he’s a little unhappy or he’s still lonely…I care”-Rihanna on her now feelings for Chris Brown.

Personally, I am so torn by these feelings Rihanna still has for this man who beat her.  I want her to hate him.  I want her to never speak to him again, but unltimately it isn’t my life.  And having worked in a domestic violence shelter for 2 years when I was just out of college, I’m not surprised.  She isn’t saying anything I haven’t heard before.

Everyone who comes out of an abusive relationship has a cycle of feelings and emotions to go through.  Rihanna has had the unique circumstance of having to live this trauma in front of all of us; in front of the world, really.  It can’t be easy for her.  In the interview, she also said that she had forgiven Chris.  The question of whether or not her fans can forgive him isn’t really one she can be concerned with right now.  She has to focus on her life and her direction. I hope that somewhere along the way, she finds the peace she wishes for him.

Fox Donates Appearance Fee for “Love the Way You Lie” to Women’s Shelter

The video for “Love the Way You Lie,” by Eminem, featuring Rihanna will debut today, August 5th at 9:00pm on MTV right before Jersey Shore. (Stop pretending you don’t already watch that show. We all know the truth.) Love the Way You Lie is about the cycle of domestic violence and the extremes of abusive relationships. Rihanna, who was the victim of a violent attack by her then-boyfriend, Chris Brown said:

 “It just was authentic. It was real. It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done, and the way he did it was so clever. He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence, and it’s something that a lot people don’t have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song, and it touches a lot of people.”

The video features Megan Fox and Lost’s Dominic Monaghan. Fox’s appearance in the video obviously touched her because she donated her entire paycheck for the appearance to Sojourn House, a women’s shelter dedicated to helping battered women rebuild their lives. I, personally, find Fox’s donation really touching and appreciate any effort to bring attention to the problem that is domestic violence and combat the problem.

Rihanna speaks out about domestic violence.

Rihanna with Dianna SawyerOn Friday night, Rihanna was interviewed for the first time about her assault by former boyfriend Chris Brown. The police report describes the assault in detail, but I’ll do my best to summarize. The assault occurred in the car after the couple left the Grammy’s last February, when Rihanna noticed a message on Brown’s cell phone from a former girlfriend. When she confronted him about it, he became angry and an argument ensued.  Brown, who was driving, pulled the car over and tried to force Rihanna out, but she was wearing her seatbelt. He pushed her, causing her to hit her head on the window. Brown then continued driving while punching Rihanna repeatedly in with his right hand. She made several attempts to use her cell phone to contact her personal assistant, but Brown would not let her and tossed it out the window. The assault lasted for several minutes, while Brown continued punching her, put her in a headlock, and at some point even bit her. He finally stopped the car in front of Rihanna’s house and she grabbed the key from the ignition and sat on it. He continued the assault until police arrived after being called by a neighbor who heard Rihanna’s screams.

According to a CNN article, Brown was sentenced last week to serve five years probation and to spend more than 1,400 hours in “labor-oriented service”. He will also be required to complete Domestic Violence counseling and cannot come within 50 yards of Rihanna (10 yards at industry events) until 2014.

I have to say I admire Rihanna’s bravery in speaking out so publicly about this assault and how it has affected her. Soon after the assault, a police photo of her swollen face was released by TMZ . In the 20/20 interview, Rihanna talks about how embarrassing it is for her to see that photo. Having something like this become public so quickly must be difficult to handle, but it also forced this incident to be talked about. Rihanna describes the relationship between her and Brown as being almost obsessive at times. They were so young at the time that they feel in love, they fell hard and fast. When this assault occurred, it was a major wake up call for her, but after the wounds healed, she gave him another chance. The couple got back together just weeks after the assault, but it didn’t last long. Rihanna describes being annoyed by everything he during this time because she was so angry. She discusses the history of abuse in her own family, and describes watching her father beat her mother. This type of behavior was so normal to her, that when it began happening in her own relationship, she hardly recognized how wrong it was. Once she realized that her actions influenced young women around the world, her attitude changed. By speaking publicly about something that no woman wants to admit happened to her, she hopes to help others see the importance of leaving, and I believe that she has.

Several of the comments Rihanna made rang true to me in regards to my own experience with domestic violence. Women who are in abusive relationships often have a hard time understanding the situation they are in. The emotional abuse that many women experience makes them feel so worthless that when violence occurs, a common response is to sit back and take it. Rihanna described not wanting to fight back because she didn’t wan to hurt Brown. This is a feeling I can relate to all to well, and it makes me realize how the dynamics of domestic violence differ from many other types of violence. Choosing to fight back against someone who you loves abd trust is a difficult decision, especially if the person being abused doesn’t see themselves as worth fighting for.

Rihanna’s ends the interview by explaining that sometimes it takes stepping away from a situation to see it for what it really is. She will likely be remembered for this quote, “f love. Love is so blind.”

Brown has come out on multiple occasions to publicly apologize for his actions, citing his own history of abuse and saying he wishes he could have acted differently. Rihanna admits that she believes he is sorry, but doesn’t think he truly understands the severity of the situation and how much it has affected her emotionally. The frequency of domestic violence saddens me terribly, but I think one of the best things we can do is talk about it and I’m glad that Rihanna chose to do just that.