R’n’B star Rihanna has spoken openly about how the beating she endured at the hands of then-boyfriend Chris Brown has changed her life.
The 21-year-old singer said she “went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears” such was the media attention following the assault.
Early this year Brown (aged 20) was sentenced to five years probation and community labour after pleading guilty to attacking his girlfriend hours before they were due to perform at the Grammy Awards.
To date, Rihanna has remained largely silent about the incident and how it has affected her.
However, in a series of interviews this week she has opened up about the assault in a bid that it might serve as a warning to other women at risk of domestic violence.
The attack on Rihanna on February 8 left her badly bruised and bleeding.
According to an affidavit filed by an LA police detective, the altercation took place in a car when Rihanna checked Brown’s mobile phone and found a text message from another woman.
Detective De Shon Andrews wrote that Brown attempted to push Rihanna out of the vehicle before punching her repeatedly. He also bit her ear, the affidavit states.
Brown then allegedly threatened to kill his girlfriend when she pretended to phone her assistant to get police help.
According to the detective, the alleged assault left Rihanna with a mouthful of blood.
Following the incident, pictures showing the female singer’s beaten and swollen face were leaked on to the internet.
Referring to the police photo, Rihanna told Glamour magazine that she felt “humiliated”.
She said: “I felt completely taken advantage of. I felt people were making it into a fun topic on the internet, and it was my life.”
But the singer said she has emerged “stronger, wiser and more aware” as a result of her ordeal and hoped that it might help other victims of spousal attacks come forward.
“Domestic violence is a big secret,” Rihanna told Glamour, adding: “It is one of the things (women) will hide, because it is embarrassing.”
She continued: “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.”