Speaking for the first time since she endured a traumatic beatdown at the hands of her then-boyfriend, Rihana said she is embarrassed to have fallen for a violent lover and warned other women to stay away from men who hit them.
"I fell in love with that person," the 21-year-old chanteuse said of Chris Brown, who in June pleaded guilty to beating Rihanna in March just prior to a scheduled appearance at the Grammy Awards. "That's embarrassing, that that's the type of person I fell in love with."
The singer broke her silence in a sitdown with Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday, and the network plans to air an extended interview on Friday night's "20/20." The interview coincides with the release of Rihanna's new album, "Rated R," due out on Nov. 23.
Rihanna recalled a sense of dread in the frenzy following the ugy affair, as the media swooped in and she became a poster child for battered women.
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"I just felt like, 'Oh my God, there goes my little bit of privacy,'" she said. "So here I am, the whole world knowing."
The fact that other women are victims of similar assaults drove her from any thoughts of reconciling with Brown, Rihanna said.
"The minute the physical wounds go away, you want the whole thing to go away," she said. But, she added, "when I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part.
"Even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriend won't?" she said, her voice halting. "Who's to say that they won't kill these girls? And these are young girls. I just didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives."
Rihanna said young girls who find themselves in violent relationships must step back and think of their safety.
"I'd say that to any young girl who is going through domestic violence, don't react out of love. F- love."