Aug. 16, 2012— -- Rihanna reveals much in a rare interview with Oprah Winfrey for the media mogul's OWN show "Oprah's Next Chapter." When talking about the domestic abuse inflicted by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, Rihanna grew emotional, began to cry and said she felt "protective" of the R&B singer.
"It was a weird, confusing space to be in," Rihanna told Winfrey. "Because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help and who's going to help him? Nobody's going to say he needs help. Everybody's going to say he's a monster without looking at the source, and I was more concerned about him."
The night before the 2009 Grammy Awards, Brown assaulted the singer, leaving the now 24-year-old battered and bruised. Brown was sentenced to five years' probation, community labor and one year of domestic-violence counseling.
"I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched ... switched in a night and I couldn't control that," the Barbados native told Winfrey. "So I had to deal with that, and that's not easy for me to understand or interpret. It's not easy to interpret on camera. Not with the world watching."
Also in the interview, which airs Sunday, the singer talks freely about her career, her family, the recent death of her grandmother and the price of fame. Winfrey also went to the singer's old neighborhood in Barbados to gain a better understanding of Rihanna's past.
"I went there with my own ideas about who she was, watching the videos and listening to her music," Winfrey said in the episode's trailer bout the interview. "I thought she was going to be kind of a badass, kind of a hard edged rocker, pop woman. Nothing could have been further from the truth ."
For the full interview, tune in to "Oprah's Next Chapter," Sunday at 9 p.m. on OWN.