Can you change a man? Rihanna sure thought she could change Chris Brown. The superstar singer opens up about her decision to forgive Chris—and get back together with him--after he infamously assaulted her while they were dating in 2009.
“I was that girl,” she says in her new Vanity Fair cover story, “that girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others.”
In light of Chris’ own tortured past (he’s spoken publicly about experiencing domestic assault as a child), Rihanna thought that he was misunderstood and that she could genuinely help him. “I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him.”
The two began dating in 2007 and then reconciled—much to the surprise of many fans and critics—in 2012. As for their relationship now, it seems cordial but not exactly friendly. “I don’t hate him. I will care about him until the day I die,” says Rihanna. “We’re not friends, but it’s not like we’re enemies. We don’t have much of a relationship now.”