Rihanna Talks About Chris Brown Beating, New Album

By Alexis Sezar on November 3, 2009

LOS ANGELES — Months after being assaulted on the eve of the Grammy Awards by her then boyfriend Chris Brown, Rihanna is opening up about how the attack changed her.

"I'm stronger, wiser and more aware," the 21-year-old singer reveals in the December issue of Glamour magazine. You don't realize how much your decisions affect people you don't even know, like fans."

"It has taught me so much," Rihanna continues. "I felt like I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears. That was the level of media chaos that happened the next day. It was like, What, there are helicopters circling my house? There are 100 people in my cul-de-sac? What do you mean, I can’t go back home?"

Shortly after the February beating incident, a photo seemingly showing Rihanna's battered and bruised face was allegedly leaked by the police. She considers the moment one of the most horrifying times of her life.

"It was humiliating; that is not a photo you would show to anybody," she shares. "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. I was disappointed, especially when I found out the photo was [supposedly leaked by] two women."

As challenging as the past year has been, Rihanna is hoping to put her past experiences to good use.

"Domestic violence is a big secret," she explains. "No kid goes around and lets people know their parents fight. Teenage girls can't tell their parents that their boyfriend beat them up. You don't dare let your neighbor know that you fight. It's one of the things we [women] will hide, because it's embarrassing."

"My story was broadcast all over the world for people to see, and they have followed every step of my recovery," she continues. "The positive thing that has come out of my situation is that people can learn from that. I want to give as much insight as I can to young women, because I feel like I represent a voice that really isn't heard. Now I can help speak for those women."

Rihanna says many of the challenges she faced will shine through on her forthcoming album, Rated R, scheduled to drop on Nov. 23.

"I put everything I've wanted to say for the past eight months into my music," she says. "The songs are really personal. It's rock 'n' roll, but it's really hip-hop: If Lil' Wayne and Kings of Leon like my album, then I'll feel good. I would not change anything about it. Even if people don't love it, I made exactly the piece of art that I wanted to make. It's super fearless—which is exactly how I feel right now. I am in a really good place."

Also see: Rihanna Pictures

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