Chris Brown brutally assaulted Rihanna in 2009, but the Barbadian beauty still felt sympathy towards her abuser.
"It was a weird, confusing space to be in, because as angry as I was, as angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help," Rihanna told Oprah Winfrey on OWN's Next Chapter. "And like who's gonna help him? Nobody's gonna say he needs help."
"Everybody's gonna say he's a monster without looking at the source," Rihanna said. "And I was more concerned about him."
Rihanna tearfully told Oprah she "lost my best friend" when Brown attacked her, adding that "everything I knew switched in a night."
"And I couldn't control that, so I had to deal with that, and that's not easy for me to understand or interpret and it's not easy to interpret on camera, not with the world watching. So it was hard for me to even pay attention to my mind and figuring things out because now it became a circus and I felt protective," she said. "I felt like the only person they hate right now is him."
For Oprah and Rihanna's full chat, tune in to Oprah's Next Chapter this Sunday, Aug. 19., at 9 p.m. on OWN.