On Thursday, Rihanna’s first televised interview since her assault at the hands of former boyfriend Chris Brown in February will air. Speaking to “Good Morning America,” the singer will send the message, “This happened to me. … It can happen to anyone,” according to excerpts of the interview released on Tuesday (November 3).
Rihanna, 21, also reportedly tells Diane Sawyer that the attack by Brown was especially difficult because of how she felt about him before the incident occurred. “He was definitely my first big love,” she said in an interview that will continue on Friday night’s “20/20.”
The singer also opened up for the December issue of Glamour magazine, describing how she coped with the aftermath of the assault. “I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears,” she said in the Women of the Year issue, out on November 10. “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?’ ”
Rihanna said that her friends and family have been extremely supportive over the past year and have been there for her as she dealt with the media firestorm and emotions of the incident, as well as the leaking of the photo of her battered face. “But at some point you are there alone. It’s a lonely place to be — no one can understand,” she said. “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.”
The singer called the leak of the photo taken after the assault humiliating and said she 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. … That is not a photo you would show to anybody.”
The experience has changed her, she said, making her feel stronger, wiser and more aware. “You don’t realize how much your decisions affect people you don’t even know, like fans,” she told the magazine. And, if she could send a message to the millions of young women who look up to her, especially ones who might be in similar situations, Rihanna said it would be this: “Domestic violence is a big secret. 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.”
The interviews come amid the advancing blitz of activity from the singer in advance of the November 23 release of her Rated R album. Over the past few weeks, Rihanna dropped the singles “Russian Roulette” and “Hard” (featuring Young Jeezy) and “Wait Your Turn” hit the Web. She also revealed the album’s cover art and track listing.