Rihanna Breaks Silence About Chris Brown Incident in Emotional “20/20” Interview (2024)

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Rihanna’s first televised interview since her February 8th altercation with Chris Brown finally aired on Friday during the November 6th episode of 20/20. While excerpts of Rihanna’s conversation with Diane Sawyer appeared on Good Morning America earlier last week, the full 20/20 interview provided more details of the assault and its aftermath, including why Rihanna returned to Brown only three weeks after the incident and Rihanna’s reaction to the shocking leaked photograph of her battered face.

“I get very embarrassed, I feel humiliated. I get angry, all over again. Every time I see it, the whole thing plays back in my head,” Rihanna said of the leaked photograph that appeared on TMZ in the days following the assault. “It’s humiliating to see your face like that.” Rihanna also lashed out at those who said she must have provoked Brown in some way prior to the assault. “It’s ignorance,” Rihanna said, adding that at no point did she hit Brown. “Because even if I hit him first, that makes it okay for him to do that to me?”

Rihanna and Chris Brown’s Grammy Weekend: Photos of the days and hours before the infamous fight.

On March 1st, just three weeks after the incident, Rihanna joined Brown in Miami, something she recognizes now was a “selfish” mistake because of the message it sent to her female fans. “I was still attached by love,” Rihanna said, “but I wasn’t thinking about the reality of the situation. ‘If I feel this depressed, then what is he going through?’ I had to protect him. The whole world hates him now. His fans, his career. He lost me. I just need to let him know, ‘Don’t do anything stupid.’ ” Shortly after their Miami rendezvous, Rihanna ended their relationship.

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Just hours before Rihanna’s 20/20 interview aired, Brown’s own MTV interview ran in which he discussed how his life and career have changed since the incident. He cited one occasion when he went to an amusem*nt park and people shouted things like “woman beater.” “I’m human, so when I hear certain things that they say or if I go somewhere and I hear somebody be rude about it, it’s just like, ‘Man, it’s a mistake,’ ” Brown said. “I made a big mistake. I’m learning from it. Like, I’m not saying, ‘Who are they to judge?’ because, I mean, everybody’s entitled to their own opinion on how they feel, but it hurts.”

While Brown has been reluctant to discuss what transpired in the rented Lamborghini on the night of February 8th — he said he wanted to respect Rihanna’s privacy — Rihanna didn’t hold back in her interview with Sawyer. After the 20/20 interview, Brown issued a statement saying, “While I respect Rihanna’s right to discuss the specific events of February 8, I maintain my position that all of the details should remain a private matter between us. I do appreciate her support and wish her the best. I am extremely sorry for what I did, and I accept accountability for my actions.”

Check out photos of Rihanna, onstage and off.


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With the incident finally behind her, Rihanna has begun to once again focus on her career as her new album, Rated R, will hit stores November 23rd. The album has already spawned two singles, “Russian Roulette” and “Wait Your Turn,” while a third track “Hard” has been leaked online. After joining Jay-Z and Kanye West to perform “Run This Town” on the Jay Leno Show in September, Rihanna reprised her role by taking the stage in front of a large audience for the first time since February 8th with a surprise cameo at Jay-Z’s Los Angeles concert last night, RihannaDaily writes. Rihanna is set to sing at the American Music Awards on November 22. She’s also rumored to perform at this year’s Grammy Awards nominations show on December 2nd, but when asked whether this was true, a Grammy spokesperson told RS “not to our knowledge.”

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Rihanna Breaks Silence About Chris Brown Incident in Emotional “20/20” Interview (2024)


Why did Rihanna get back with Chris Brown? ›

Rihanna Explains Why She Got Back Together With Chris Brown After Assault: “I Was That Girl” Rihanna opened up to Vanity Fair in a tell-all interview about why she got back with Chris Brown briefly after he assaulted her in 2009: "I was that girl," she shared. Reflections of RiRi.

What was the relationship between Chris Brown and Rihanna? ›

The “Umbrella” singer's first serious relationship began in 2008, three years after she launched her music career with her debut album, Music of the Sun. She and Chris Brown dated until February 2009, when he was arrested for physically assaulting her ahead of the Grammy Awards.

What damage did Chris Brown do to Rihanna? ›

The incident occurred the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards, and left Rihanna with visible injuries, including a split lip and bruises on her face. Brown was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats, to which he later pleaded guilty.

Who is Rihanna's husband? ›

The Right Excellent Rihanna NH
PartnersChris Brown (2007–2009; 2012–2013) Hassan Jameel (2017–2020) ASAP Rocky (2020–present)
AwardsFull list
Musical career
23 more rows

Does Chris Brown have a tattoo of Rihanna? ›

So false! Brown's publicist, Jeff Raymond, tells us the tattoo is not Rihanna. "His tattoo is a sugar skull (associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead) and a MAC cosmetics design he saw. It is not Rihanna or an abused woman as erroneously reported.

How old was Rihanna when her and Chris Brown were together? ›

Rihanna began her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown when she was just 17 years-old, when the two met at the 2005 Vibe Awards. Here, the couple are pictured at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards.

Did Rihanna and Drake date? ›

Rihanna first met Canadian rapper Drake when he was an extra in her "Pon de Replay" music video in 2005. Though they started out as friends, their relationship turned romantic in May 2009 when the pair were spotted making out at a New York City bowling alley.

Are Chris Brown and Rihanna friends again? ›

Are Chris Brown and Rihanna still friends in 2023? Yes, they have maintained a very close friendship since the restraining order was dropped.

What did Chris Brown say to Rihanna after she had her baby? ›

The message is similar to when Rihanna gave birth to her first baby in May 2022. Chris posted a story that had only text and emojis seemingly directed toward his ex-girlfriend. “Congratulations,” the story said with a pregnant woman emoji and heart and prayer hands emojis.

When did Rihanna talk about Chris Brown? ›

In an extremely emotional interview with ABC News in November 2009, Rihanna opened up about the abuse she sustained during her relationship with Brown. The singer explained that she felt embarrassed when people found out that she was in a relationship with him.

Who is Chris Brown in a relationship with? ›

At present, Chris Brown appears to be single and not romantically linked with anyone. Chris Brown previously had a relationship with Ammika Harris, whom he reportedly met in 2015. According to HotNewHipHop, the couple welcomed their son, Aeko Catori, in November 2019.

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