Rihanna spoke candidly to Diane Sawyer about falling in love with [artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] and the fallout of the February assault in her first sit-down interview since the incident. In the portions of the interview that aired Friday (November 6) on "Good Morning America," the singer blamed the intensity of their relationship on the fact that they were best friends first.
"He was definitely my first big love," [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist] said. "We were best friends, so we fell in love with each other. To fall in love with your best friend it can be scary because the emotions get... the best of you," she explained. "We just fell really fast, [and] the more in love we became the more dangerous we became for each other, equally dangerous, 'cause it was a bit of an obsession almost.
"We were just friends; we always played," she continued, explaining why, even after the assault, they briefly reconciled. "The love doesn't go away right away. He didn't accept that very well. He obviously ... didn't want us to be apart, but I know how to make a decision for me."
But Rihanna soon ended their relationship for real. "I just said to him, 'I can't do this,' " she recalled during the interview that airs in full on Friday night's "20/20." "I resented him. I resented him so much. And I always put the tough face on and ... try to play it off. But he knew. He knew it. He kept asking me, 'You hate me, don't you? You hate me.' And I would lie, and I would say, 'No, no.' ... I did hate him. ... Everything about him annoyed me. So finally ... I just said, 'We can't ... we can't do this. I cannot continue to do this.' "
That's not to say that Rihanna, who said she regretted reconciling briefly with Brown because of the message it sent to other victims, wasn't conflicted about her decision. "I went through ... a host of emotions," she told Sawyer. "It was confusing for me. I was still attached by love. But I wasn't thinking about ... the reality of the situation. You start lying to yourself. ... This is a memory you don't want to have ever again. ... The physical wounds go away, you put it in the back of your head and you start lying to yourself subconsciously.
"I felt very lonely," she continued. "I couldn't even go back to my own house because there were 200 people outside with cameras, paparazzi, journalists, fans, neighbors."
At the same time, Rihanna felt a need to shield Brown from the media blitz. "If I feel this depressed, then what is he going through?" she recalled asking herself. "I had to protect him. I thought that I had to let him know, 'Don't do anything crazy. Like, just hang in there.' ...The whole world hates him now. His fans, his career. ... I'm not saying that's an excuse for me to go back, but this is what I was thinking about."
All these months later, Rihanna's hatred seems to have faded. "I don't have a desire at all to be with him," she said. "I can't see how we ... would get back together, but I'm also not God, and I can't predict the future. No, I don't hate him at all. I actually love and care about him, and I think I'm concerned about him doing well. I want him to do well."
Although Brown has given several high-profile interviews in the wake of the assault, Rihanna says now was the time for her to open up about it. "I knew I had to do this in order to move on for me and in order for my fans to move on with me, because it would always be a question in their mind," she said. "I don't want that five years from now — every time they see Rihanna, they think of Chris Brown beating me. That's not who I am. It's just one thing that happened to me."
Chris Brown opens up about the February assault and its aftermath in "Chris Brown: The Interview," airing tonight at 6 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.