It’s been three years since “the incident” left Rihanna bloody and fearing for her life. Since then she and ex-flame Chris Brown have made amends, and records, and have both seemed to move on from that fateful February night.

Despite their willingness to let bygones be bygones, the media—and their fans—just can’t seem to let it go. Although it’s been three years since the pop stars split, rumors of reconciliation have continued to persist and only grew stronger when the pair teamed up for two songs, one of which seemed to indicate they were getting it in (or wanted to).

Recently, during a recent interview with Esquire UK for the June issue, things got a bit dicey after the interviewer asked Rihanna about her now infamous collaboration with Chris Brown. Although many may have wanted the backstory of how they came to work together, let’s just say RihRih was not  happy to be talking about her ex yet again.

Peep an excerpt of the transcript:

Esquire: What has been the Twitter response to the Chris Brown remixes?

Rihanna: Some love it, some hate it, some love it but hate that we did it. But the response in the end has been incredible.

Esquire: Was that [the recording session] the first time you’d seen him in a while?

Rihanna: When would we have seen each other? We’ve both been working and touring. [changes the subject]. This is really good food.

Esquire: It proved quite a controversial thing.

Rihanna: Well…definitely. Definitely. It caught me a little off-guard to be honest…especially the amount of…negative attention. Because it never occurred to me how this was a problem, you know. It really didn’t.

Esquire: Because enough time had passed that it was OK?

Rihanna: I thought people were gonna be surprised that we finally did a record together, but I didn’t see how people could think it was a bad thing, you know? In my mind, it was just music.

Esquire: Some people felt it sent the wrong message.

Rihanna: [Angrily] What was that? What message would that be?

Esquire: You’d gone back to someone who put you in the hospital.

Rihanna: [Getting angry] Oh really? Did I?

Esquire: Well… yes.

Rihanna: Did I? Did I? Did I?

Esquire: You went and recorded with him, yes.

Rihanna: Okay. In a completely professional environment. And on a complete professional note. I mean, if I went back to him [as a girlfriend], then that’s a whole different discussion. And if I ever do, then that’s something that y’all have to talk to me about when – if – that ever happens. Until then, look at it for what it is. I think a lot of people jumped to an assumption that was incorrect and they ended up looking stupid.

Esquire: The assumption you were dating again?

Rihanna: Because of a song. How stupid. If I was together with every collaborator I worked with… f-ck my life.

Esquire: Still, the lyrics didn’t do much to dispel that impression. His opening line is “Girl I want to fuck you right now/been a long time/I’ve been missing your body”. You reply: “Remember how you did it/If you still want to kiss it/Then come and get it”.

Rihanna: That was the tone before he was even on the record. You think it was going to be about hopscotch or jump rope?

Esquire: So neither of you for a minute thought “This is going to put the cat among the pigeons”?

Rihanna: I could never see anything wrong with making music.

Esquire: Maybe the thing is that as an artist your personal and private life are intertwined, and you’ve already played on this. The first song you put out after the beating incident was “Love the Way You Lie”, about domestic violence.

Rihanna: Absolutely. But Love The Way You Live was me as an artist working with Eminem as an artist, telling our stories individually. On a track together. I’m lost. I’m confused as to what you’re trying to get at.

Esquire: That it’s hard to separate the person who’s been the victim of domestic violence and the pop star singing about domestic violence.

Rihanna: I know. And that’s how f-cked up society is. There’s a lot of sh-t y’all can’t get over. Y’all holding your breath on a lot of stuff that doesn’t matter. When you realize who you live for, and who’s important to please, a lot of people will actually start living. I am never going to get caught up in that. I’m gonna look back on my life and say that I enjoyed it – and I lived it for me- and God. This is turning into a tacky interview. What do you really want to talk about? I’m not here to [talk] about messy sh-t.

Esquire: It’s just what’s been making the headlines recently.

Rihanna: OK! So do you want to talk about everything on Google? Or do you want to talk about stuff that my fans want to know? Let’s get to the real stuff. The stuff that’s important.

Esquire: What do your fans want to know?

Rihanna: You tell me, as a journalist. You’re asking the questions and I give you the answers. I can’t give the questions too.

Esquire: I’m sorry it’s upset you.

Rihanna: It hasn’t upset me. It upsets me that you keep asking the same kind of questions about stuff that’s trivial. What’s there to talk about? Are all your questions like that? Let’s move onto the next one.

Esquire: It’s just that you haven’t given an interview for a while. A lot has happened.

Rihanna: You think I haven’t given an interview for a while? I did four this morning.

Esquire: Did they go any better than this?

Rihanna: We’ll see [when they come out] tomorrow

As a writer, I understand asking artists tough questions. Although both claim they have moved on, Rihanna and Chris Brown used the “Cake” collaboration to garner buzz and stoke the rumors that they were reuniting.

So can Rih really be mad people still ask her about Breezy or should journalists and fans just move on?

 Speak on it! 

  • Jenn

    I think interviews are, for the most part, done with the consent of the artist. If the artist doesn’t like the line of questioning the interviewer should move on.

    I think defining someone by one of the worse things to happen to them is awful. Constantly making her into nothing more than a victim is awful.

  • Britt

    I’m fans of Rihanna and Chris, and I can understand how she’s tired of talking about “the incident” because I’m tired of hearing about it. I think they did the “Birthday Cake” song together to show that they had moved on.

    Also, what Chris did definitely wasn’t right, but it seems like Rihanna is hiding something about what happened. She never wanted to be seen as a victim. Even though there are pictures and a police report, there is more to this story than what we know.

  • African Mami

    I got heated as I read the questions. She did a good job of not completely spazzing out. Shid, I would have walked out! Yes, she is a public figure, and she is going to be scrutinized day in day out, BUT at the same time she is human. There is a fine balance. This journalist crossed that path! Lawwwwwd hammercy, I would have cursed him/her, and his moda’s/foda’s people out!

  • Velma

    Business or not, that will affect her for many years to come. And honestly, I cannot for the life of me understand why she would have any professional contact with him. This would not fly in any other community (white, asian, latino, etc), so why in the hell is it “ok” in the black community??? She can “move on” without doing ANY collaboration with him. Wake up people…..stop accepting when women get beat up, that it’s “ok” when the perp apologizes and it’s back to business as usual.

  • myblackfriendsays

    She’s funny. This is why we shouldn’t be so concerned about grown folks’ business. She does not owe anyone (her fans, women, young girls, etc.) anything. If she wants to make a song with Chris Brown, fine. If she wants to get back together with him, fine. It’s her life and she’s living it.

    At the same time, if the interviewer wants to ask her those questions, that is also fine. She can get an attitude if she wants to, but people are clearly interested in the collaborations, and that’s why the interviewer was asking questions about it.

    I personally haven’t really liked any of her songs since Umbrella, and that is the main thing I am concerned with when I think about Rhianna–her music.

  • Margaret

    She chose to record with him so she reaps the consequences, good and bad. Interviewers ask questions about all kinds of things. She should have expected it and been prepared.

    Honestly, I don’t think it was a great idea for them to record together. It wasn’t like it was necessary for either of them professionally. They’re both selling records. But when she says she didn’t think people would be negative about it – I have to wonder about her common sense. Surely she didn’t think nobody would comment.

    I don’t know – these two (Chris & Rhianna) have a lot of growing up to do.

  • kesha

    Ri has no right to get upset with this line of’s exactly what her fans want to know..are you ok with reconnecting with Chris? Fans reached out to her on Twitter and she was nasty towards them for showing concern for her safety. People who stood up for her three years ago still want to stand for her today..Ri you can’t throw up your middle finger towards those people. No one would question how you and Chris are when you’re together if you & him just had a little argument three years ago. He bashed ya face in & people can’t forget that so easily. So instead of gettin angry be thankful for the fans that care about you..they may not always be around

  • Teiko

    She has no right? You cannot decide for someone else what they can and cannot be/get upset about.

  • RenJennM

    She can do what she wants. She’s grown. I’m a huge fan of both of them. I personally think that there was a lot more to their domestic incident than people want to admit, but even I am willing to move on past it and not judge either one of them.

    What’s the problem with the collabs? They’re both dope, and they’re two of the most popular young artists out today. She chose Chris for the record because he’s poppin’, and he chose her for his record because he was paying back the favor.

    It’s like we want to continue to victimize her and criminalize him, and they both hate it. Stop doing it. As fans, you’re not helping them, and as haters, you’re doing worse. And if you don’t care either way, well… you wouldn’t even be reading this article, now would you? Seriously, they’re f***ing pop singers, not politicians or philanthropists. Ask them about music, clothes, traveling, performing, sex, and things of that like.

  • Michelle

    I agree! People need to wake up & acting like wrong is right.

  • Michelle

    *stop* acting like wrong is right.

  • Michelle

    When u choose to live life in the public eye, you have to take the good with the bad. Rihanna likes to use the media when it’s benefiting her. She has to grow up & learn how to deal professionally when things don’t go the way she wants.

  • Fuchsia

    Move the hell on already! As a journalist if you follow Rih Rih then you obviously know that her interviews go left after her love life is mentioned. I wish they would talk about her career and let the girl live! We were all young once and we are all entitled to make a few crazy decision along the way.

  • apple

    Wooo chile I woulda cut the interview but sidebar

    Clutch now y all turning off comments midway thru on certain articles??

  • Fajr

    She handles herself well and shows exactly why I love her attitude, but for her to sit in that interview and act like they didn’t put Chris Brown on that song to capitalize off of the situation is wrong.

    Kudos to her for moving on but it still sends a bad message to young girls who are going through or have gone through the same thing. She’s stated that she’s not a role model and clearly her behavior shows that she doesn’t want to be one, but it seems just a bit careless.

    As a writer, I understand Esquire’s line of questioning. A story just about Rihanna would be boring. She makes a sensational song with her attacker and then acts all “woe is me” when people ask her about it…. Gimme a break

  • binks

    After reading this I gain a new found respect for Rihanna. I think people are pissy that she doesn’t want to be betrayed as the victim or that she never threw Chris Brown under the bus like everybody else (though she could and it would be warranted). Though she is a public figure her life is just that HER life at the end of the day so these people don’t owe you anything. I think the incident is still being brought up because the details of it is still fuzzy to everybody else but if her or Chris don’t want to talk about it or relive it then it is their choice. If they want to hate each other, get back together or just go at it like rabbits it’s their choice. Plus I think the way this incident was trivialized and handle and been/being discussed or use as a punchline (no pun) did a great disservice to the issue of domestic violence because it seemed like everybody wanted to make them the poster child for it. I am over the indepth details and analysis of these celebrities’ lives, don’t like what they do then don’t support it’s that simple.

  • bekah

    How many women have ran back to a guy that treated them like sh*t? Whether it be physically, emotionally or what have you. I’m not too ashamed to say that I have. Even though I’m not a fan, I get her point. This is just another example of when celebrities don’t get to be human, make mistakes, and have the same journey that most of us (hopefully) go through to grow. The notion of her being a role model should have/has gone out of the window. Which is okay, because I highly doubt those are her intentions when she does whatever controversial things she does.

    If she went back with him, that was her decision and her experience to learn from (or not). If she didn’t go back with him but simply made the insinuation on her songs, then that’s more dollar bills in her pocket which is probably what the move was about in the first place. Clearly, it worked since we’re still on it and she’s still making bank for this reason. You think she wants to parade around the “fact” that she got back with her abuser? She’s hustling and you can never knock that. But you don’t have to support it either.

  • Bosslady

    I think Rihanna handled the interview well. We all know she had a temper and the interviewer was crossing the line! It’s really a non-subject and Rihanna has made it clear she has moved on. I’m not even a fan of her but I respect the way she kept as cool as one could in the interview

  • starr

    Rih brings alot of this on herself. She put so much out there, and don’t like it when people call her out on it. I don’t blame the interviewer, he or she asked the questions most people want to know.

  • Tami

    Well, as a journalist, I think I would have asked her about Chris Brown, but as soon as I realized that it was a touchy subject, I would have backed off. People are curious & Rihanna does have the right to move on, however, maybe the next time she does an interview, she should state beforehand that she does not want to talk about what happened in the past between her & Chris.

  • stellaxo

    i agree w teiko!
    i think rihanna handled the interview really well; the interviewer should have stopped upon realizing that the questions were making her feel uncomfortable.
    to be honest, I can’t even believe that they ACTUALLY released this interview! like she said, it makes the magazine look tacky.
    the questions he was asking- those are questions paparazzi and people at TMZ ask, not a well respected mag like esquire.

    but i’m proud of her :)
    she seems to have her head together- you can’t live for anyone but yourself and God- if you let the thoughts or opinions of others define and mold you, you would live a compromised life, who the fuck wants that?

    to look back on your life and think ..what if?, when really it was a few people (whom you no longer remember or never knew in the first place) who in an indirect way, controlled your actions?
    i’m not going to live my life that way, and neither should she!
    love this girl <3

  • stellaxo

    oh, this ‘when you choose to live your life in the public eye thing’
    PLEASE. :|
    some of you will just about tolerate anything to happen to another person, maybe because they have so much money that such treatment is justified?!

    she wanted to be a singer when she was a preteen.
    god, who doesn’t?!
    she had the opportunity to do so and quickly got management that encouraged her to strive for goals they set for her.
    and now she’s supposed to be a slave to everyone?
    answer questions that are nobody’s business, dress in the right clothes (not too provocative because there are girls who listen, not too dark because she would be compared to madonna), say the right things at the right times in the “professional” way you and everyone expects, etc.

    do some of you realize that given the expectations or guidelines you set for other people, nobody would be allowed to truly live?
    do you have these expectations for yourself?
    hows your life, really? how is it? do you think its as necessary when people criticize your lifestyle and choices?

    i know its part of human nature to point the finger, but some of you haters need to find a hobby or reproduce so you can fulfill your desired parental roles or whatever.

  • apple

    Where my comment?!! I didn’t say anything mean or rude!

  • Tonton Michel

    The incident is now a part of them and the fans are going to be curious when you make music together and say things like this “I mean, if I went back to him [as a girlfriend], then that’s a whole different discussion. And if I ever do, then that’s something that y’all have to talk to me about when – if – that ever happens.” Of course people are going to ask why if you let them. She can always decline to answer but people are going to ask anyway, might as well answer it honestly and take the steam out of it.

  • Ms. Information

    It sounded like a court transcript…lol…

  • demetria

    Society has an obsession with turning women into (and keeping us) as victims. When we decide to stand up and call ourselves survivors – society has a huge issue with it because we are changing the narratives. I think it’s interesting that when men are placed in a position where they have to make a business decision, that may affect their personal life, it’s regarded as just that – strictly professional. When a woman tries to do the same thing, all hell breaks loose.

    I think it’s time that the fans start taking their cues from Rihanna. If she wants to move on and focus on her career, we should give her the space to do just that. There’s no need to keep bringing up issues from her personal life that she clearly wants to remain private. When are we going to start to support her right to take back her life and live it to the fullest as the survivor that she is?

  • April

    Exactly. I find Rihanna’s reaction extremely disingenuous. She’s recording songs full of unsubtle references to her history with Chris Brown, and then she gets mad when people notice that and comment upon it? And she has a nerve to accuse the *writer* of dredging up the past, when her work (the “important” topic, she says) constantly alludes to it? Rihanna is full of it–she and Chris need to go crawl under a rock and not be seen for at least 10 years.

  • milagros

    who sh who she f****** it’s her p leave her alon

  • milagros

    Leave her alone its her pussy she can fuck we ho ever she wants

  • Sasha

    haha didn’t it?! I couldn’t stop cracking up.

  • CurlySue

    Ugh, her whole “f*ck the world!” persona is becoming tiresome. Like, you’re paid millions to sing (poorly). Consider yourself lucky and have a Coke and a smile.

  • OSHH

    There are costs associated to everything, fame included @ stellaxo, IDK but I think that was all Michelle hinted at *shrug*

  • LMO85

    Thank you to both Margaret and April–apt comments indeed.

  • LMO85

    LMAO !!!

  • Sparkle

    So true!

  • Sparkle

    They do need to both grow up. I kinda wish they would just disappear (from the media) for a while….smh. Unfortunately, it’s these super-young “ride or die” fans that keep validating them.

  • Sasha

    Two claps for the truth!

  • CurlySue

    I’m just saying, like, how can you be a ‘rebel’ when you’re a mainstream pop icon? Lol, neck tattoos don’t make you badass. Just trashy.

  • Akimbo

    People will forget about the incident once you stop reminding them about it i.e. putting out music that obliquely references it and recording new songs about having sex with your former abuser. She’s not stupid, she knew that collaborating with Chris Brown would get people talking; she just wants to control the conversation. And she can’t.

  • Dalili


  • Dalili

    LOL @ “Have a coke and a smile” I hear ya!

  • Blasé

    “You think it was going to be about hopscotch or jump rope?”

    love that, LOL moment.

  • alicia

    she does have a point. who is asking chris brown about this? i hate how sexism is seen as women’s problem.

    + we all know she doesn’t write her own songs and/or choose when to release them. she is doing her job, which happens to include occupying a problematic role in the pop music scene (as is the case with all female performers).

  • Crystie

    Music is music. Music is not sex, relationships, and life. Music could be about those topics but it’s up to the writer and the performer to build the story of the songs to make a successful product. It’s up to us, the listeners to form our OWN connections to the songs. Not try to decode the message of the song. We are not Rihanna and we are not Chris. Therefore, everyone should move on from that situation because it’s obvious that they have. All you people criticizing them, live your life and create your own music and stories. You guys might be a little happier.

  • dez

    LOL LOL have a coke and smile…

  • Lee


  • sophia V

    Rihanna has taken a personal and unfortunate situation and capitalized on it in so many ways. Her personal and professional life have become intertwined in many facets. She puts things out there that will inevitably get folks talking, then once they start talking, she gets upset and defensive. Her doing a song with Brown was clearly a strategic/business move…this is what artist must do when raw genuine talent is not what is driving their success…They need these antics to stay relevant.

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