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LISTEN: Rihanna says Chris Brown ’was the love of my life’

Rihanna says she and Chris Brown are "now very close friends" and still "love each other".

The pair were one of the hottest couples in the world until the 'Umbrella' singer ended the relationship in February 2009 after Chris physically assaulted her on the night of the Grammy Awards leaving her requiring hospital treatment.

The R&B star pleaded guilty to a felony assault and accepted a plea deal of community labour, five years of probation and domestic violence counselling.

The pair briefly rekindled their romance in 2013 before splitting again, Rihanna, 32 has opened up about the status of their relationship now, revealing that they have a strong friendship and that he remains the love of her life.

During an appearance on 'Oprah Winfrey's SuperSoul Conversations' podcast, she said: "We've been working on our friendship again. Now we're very very close friends. We've built up a trust again, and that's - we love each other and we probably always will. And that's not something we're ever going to change. That's not something you can shut off, if you've ever been in love.

"I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love. And I see that he loved me the same way ... it's not even about us being together. I truly love him. So the main thing for me is that he's at peace. I'm not at peace if he's a little unhappy, or he's still lonely."

Despite revealing their deep feelings for one another, Rihanna doesn't believe that she and Chris, 31, will ever rekindle their romance, especially as he is happy in his relationship with Ammika Harris, the mother of his son Aeko Catori Brown.

She added: "He's in a relationship of his own. I'm single but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We've just worked on it, little by little, and it has not been easy. It's not easy."

The 'Diamonds' singer told Oprah, 66, that it was the repairing of her damaged relationship with her father Ronald Fenty that led to her fully forgiving Chris for his actions.

She shared: "I repaired my relationship with my dad. I was so angry with him, and I was just angry about a lot of things from my childhood and I couldn't separate him as a husband from him as a father.

"I thought I hated Chris and I realised it was love was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted. And I realised that what it was is I had to forgive him because I cared about him still. And the minute I let go of that, I started living again."

Rihanna also told Oprah that in the aftermath of Chris' attack on her and subsequent arrest she was more worried about the effect the incident was going to have on him and his career than her own wellbeing.

She added: "I was hurt most, nobody felt what I felt. It happened to me ... I felt protective. I felt the only person they hate right now is him. It was a weird confusing space to be in because as angry as I was, and hurt and betrayed, I felt like he made that mistake because he needed help, and who's going to help him?

"I was more concerned about him."

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