It's official: R&B diva Rihanna says she is back together with Chris Brown, who is still on probation for assaulting her in 2009, saying "It's different now."
"I decided it was more important for me to be happy," Rihanna told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview published on Wednesday on its website.
"I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake," she said of her renewed romance with singer Brown, 23, that has prompted consternation from fans and celebrity media because of their history.
"After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash," said Rihanna, 24, adding, "I can handle it."
The couple's reconciliation had been rumored for months, even before the pair unveiled a duet, Nobody's Business, in November. That track was included on Rihanna's latest album Unapologetic.
Brown pleaded guilty in 2009 to beating and punching Rihanna. He was sentenced to community service, anger management classes, given a restraining order and is still on probation.
The Barbadian singer told Oprah Winfrey in an emotional interview in August that she and Brown now had a "very close friendship," and that she still loved him.
"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," Rihanna admitted to Rolling Stone, which hits newsstands this week with her gracing the cover above the headline, Rihanna Crazy In Love.
"You see us walking somewhere ... and you think you know. But it's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We talk," she said. "We value each other."
But she noted that Brown is on probation with her as well, saying, "He doesn't have the luxury of (messing) up again."
"That's just not an option ... And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility."
The interview was published three days after Brown's latest dustup, which involved fellow musician Frank Ocean, over a parking space at a West Hollywood recording studio. Ocean has said he wants Brown prosecuted following the Sunday brawl.
In 2012 Rihanna was rated by Time and Forbes magazines as among the world's and celebrity arena's most powerful people.
MEANWHILE...MORE ON THE COUPLE
Chrisn Brown's ex Karrueche Tran (Getty Images)
Chris Brown's ex Karrueche Tran reveals love triangle with Rihanna
Chris Brown’s former girlfriend Karrueche Tran has spoken about her split from the singer, saying how it felt to watch him climb back into bed with on-off girlfriend Rihanna.
In her first magazine cover shoot, the 24-year-old model poses topless in nude knickers for Rolling Out and opened up about the unfortunate love-triangle she found herself tangled up in.
“It was very hard. I try my best to just ignore the negativity, which is hard for me because it’s a lot to deal with,” the Mirror quoted her as saying. LOVE TRIANGLE
Rihanna attends Chris Brown's ex club party
Rihanna was recently spotted at her on-again off-again flame Chris Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran’s club party.
The 24-year-old Diamonds singer attended the party on Thursday, which was thrown by Tran to celebrate her Rolling Out magazine cover, the New York Daily News reported. READ ONChris Brown strips to undies with Rihanna after spending Xmas together
In the picture, the American rapper is seen posing topless while Rihanna, who was flaunting her stomach in a black revealing outfit that flashed her midriff teamed with heels, sat on the front of a car, the Mirror reported.
The picture shows Brown sporting the same pair of boxers, which he wore in a snap taken with the ‘Umbrella’ hitmaker on Christmas day. RACY COUPLE
Rihanna-Chris Brown still together, still going strong
Rihanna and Chris Brown were spotted arriving together and sitting side-by-side at the LA Lakers vs. NY Knicks game at Staples Center, Los Angeles, on Christmas.
The couple arrived in the arena in the same car, but got out of the vehicle separately, TMZ.comreported.
The pair eventually met up inside the arena and sat down together in their courtside seats. STILL TOGETHER
Rihanna-Chris Brown's on-off relationship finally over?
It seems Rihanna’s on-off relationship with Chris Brown is over after she decided to spend Christmas without him. According to earlier reports, the R&B star was supposed take Brown to her native Barbados for celebrations with family.
She was hoping the trip would end any bad feeling between her relatives and the hip-hop star who was charged with assaulting her in 2009. OVER OR NOT?
Efforts to get back together? Chris Brown posts pic with Rihanna
Chris Brown posted a picture on Instagram cuddling up with Rihanna before deciding to take it down 15 minutes later, indicating that the couple may still be together despite reports of their split earlier.
The pop princess tweeted angrily about being 'single' and sent cryptic tweets about 'goodbye' after the hip-hop star larked about with strippers in Paris. CHRIS-RIHANNA
Rihanna wants time off to have baby with Chris Brown
Rihanna, who recently got back with her former boyfriend Chris Brown, is reportedly planning to have a baby with him. According to Closer magazine, the 24-year-old singer rocked her record label bosses by asking for time off so she could get pregnant.
“She asked her record company when the best time would be for her to take off, as she wants a baby,” the Sun quoted a source as saying. MORE
Chris Brown posts picture with lingerie-clad Rihanna
Rapper Chris Brown has gone online to post a picture of himself and singer Rihanna, seen wearing white lingerie and a large-sized camouflage coat. Rihanna is seen chilling on a sofa, while Brown is sitting next to her, dressed in a white T-shirt and baseball cap and smoking a roll-up, reports thesun.co.uk. RACY COUPLE
Rihanna to take Chris Brown to meet family
Rihanna is reportedly planning to take Chris Brown back to her native Barbados in a bid to win over her friends and family. She is said to have reserved a plush five-star villa on the exclusive Gold Coast area of the tropical island for a “bonding holiday”.
The 24-year-old singer hopes Brown, who beat her in a vicious assault in 2009, will be able to convince her close circle that he’s a changed man, the Sun reported. BACK FOR GOOD?
(With additional inputs)