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Rihanna opens up about Chris Brown assault in new candid interview

Rihanna gets candid about her life, including the 2009 Chris Brown assault, in a new interview with Vanity Fair.

It was more than six years ago -- right before the Grammy Awards -- when word got out about Brown's assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, and photos surfaced of her bruised face.

When asked if she thinks she'll always be a "poster child for victims of domestic abuse," the R&B/pop singer told the magazine, "Well, I just never understood that, like how the victim gets punished over and over. It's in the past, and I don't want to say 'Get over it,' because it's a very serious thing that is still relevant; it's still real.

"A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It's not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can't just dismiss it like it wasn't anything, or I don't take it seriously. But, for me, and anyone who's been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like ... I have to be punished for it? It didn't sit well with me."

Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault and was freed from probation this year. In March, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin said Brown had completed his sentence, which included community service, counseling and rehab.

Brown, 26, and Rihanna, 27, broke up after the incident in 2009, but ended up getting back together in 2012. Rihanna told Vanity Fair she thought she could change him -- "a hundred percent," she said.

"I was that girl -- that girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others," she said, adding, "You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I'm willing to put up with something, they think less of you -- because they know you don't deserve what they're going to give. And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that's when I finally had to say, 'Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this.' Sometimes you just have to walk away."

Rihanna told Vanity Fair she doesn't hate Brown and will care about him until the day she dies. That said, they're "not friends" but not enemies either.

"We don't have much of a relationship now," she said.

Brown, meanwhile, recently learned that Australia could ban him from touring there in December because of his criminal conviction for assaulting Rihanna. In response, he tweeted that he's interested in visiting Australia to raise awareness for domestic abuse.

For more from Rihanna's Vanity Fair cover story, go here.

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