Rihanna: I felt humiliated

2009-11-04 09:25

Los Angeles - Pop singer Rihanna was named Woman of the Year by Glamour magazine on Tuesday after an attack at the hands of boyfriend Chris Brown that she said changed her life overnight.

"I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day," the 21 year-old singer said in her first interview since the assault in February.

The RnB singer told the December issue of Glamour magazine that she felt humiliated when a photo of her bruised and bloodied face was leaked to the media, but that she wanted to use the incident to alert young women to the "big secret" of abusive relationships.

"It was humiliating: that is not a photo you would show to anybody," she said. "I felt completely taken advantage of. I felt like people were making it into a fun topic on the internet, and it's my life.

Brown, 20, was one of the fastest rising young RnB artists in the US before his assault on his girlfriend of about a year on the eve of the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.


He was sentenced to five years probation and community service in August and has publicly apologised.

Rihanna, whose hits include Umbrella said the positive outcome of the story grabbing worldwide attention was that she could now speak up on behalf of young women in similar situations.

"Teenage girls can't tell their parents that their boyfriend beats them up... It's one of the things we (women) hide because it's embarrassing.

"I want to give as much insight as I can to young women because I feel like I represent a voice that isn't really heard. Now I can help speak for those women," she said.

Glamour editor-in-chief Cini Leive said the magazine had chosen Rihanna as its Woman of the Year because "in breaking her silence about what she calls the 'big secret' of domestic violence, she is sending an important message to young women that they too can move on, and succeed after personal challenges".

Rihanna, who is about to release a new album Rated R, said she had "put everything I've wanted to say for the past eight months into my music", adding "it's super fearless - which is exactly how I feel right now".

The album's first single, Russian Roulette, finds her singing about a tumultuous relationship and ends with an ominous gunshot.

Rihanna has also recorded a TV interview, which is due to be aired on Good Morning America on Thursday and Friday.

  • Lotus - 2009-11-04 09:53

    I do not believe that Rihanna deserves the award, it seems like she is only speaking up now when there is no longer a chance of reconciliation with Chris Brown. She has kept silent for too long and is now using the incident as publicity for her new album! Very convenient that she chooses to speak now - dont delude your fans Rihanna, you are not a voice for the abused women.

  • from an abusive family - 2009-11-04 11:21

    @Lotus: I support Rihana. It's not easy to just start talking about your feelings after someone you trusted and loved hit you. She needed time, deserved if i may add, to deal with her pain FIRST before dealing with us. Like she said, it can be really embarrassing especially for her who is in a public eye. My father was very abusive and you have no idea how long it took for us (my mother and sisters) to talk about it but eventually we did and i'm glad we did before it was too late. She deserves the award. Way to go Riri....

  • Elrick - 2009-11-04 11:57

    I do not support Rihanna and she does not deserve the award. How can she talk now only after Chris Brown has been charged? I still support Chris Brown (not woman beating) this is only to promote her album like Joost with his book....

  • Dreamskygirlsa - 2009-11-04 13:37

    Wohoa! I am not a Rihanna fan but I do feel that no woman should be beaten up. I was there. Only toward the end of a long term relationship though, and when I spoke about it, no one believed me. It was only after a few years and my ex was beating up his current girlfriend that people actually came to me and apologised for not listening at the time. Abuse is unacceptable in any circumstances and she did okay to get out. Getting a woman of the year award? I am not so sure about that. I know far stronger women that have done more with less.

  • turbo_superboss - 2009-11-04 15:44

    Rihanna is a puppet used by the secret societies to brainwash the youth. Watch The Arrivals if you don't believe me.

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