Rihanna opens up about Chris Brown assault
Pop star Rihanna says she feels she has been "punished over and over" by the attention surrounding her assault at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
The singer has opened up about the repercussions of the 2009 incident in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Pictures of her bruised face surfaced after the assault in Brown's car.
Asked about becoming "a poster child for victims of domestic abuse", she said she felt forced to relive the "very serious" incident by the media.
She told the magazine: "Well, I just never understood that, like how the victim gets punished over and over. It's in the past, and I don't want to say, 'Get over it,' because it's a very serious thing that is still relevant; it's still real.
"A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It's not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can't just dismiss it like it wasn't anything, or I don't take it seriously.
"But, for me, and anyone who's been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it.
"So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like… I have to be punished for it? It didn't sit well with me."
Brown was sentenced to five years of probation following the assault. But the pair got back together in 2012, and Rihanna told Vanity Fair she thought she could change him.
"I was that girl who felt that, as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others," she said. "Maybe I'm one of those people built to handle [things] 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.
'You're the enemy'
"I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn't understand him. Even after… But you know, you realise 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.
"And 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.' Sometimes you just have to walk away."
She told the magazine she does not hate Brown and would "care about him until the day I die". But she added: "We're not friends, but it's not like we're enemies. We don't have much of a relationship now."