Rihanna: I Will Always Love Chris Brown She's forgiven him, and they're 'close friends,' singer tells Oprah Winfrey By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Aug 20, 2012 8:58 AM CDT STORY COMMENTS (15) (Newser) – After much hype, Oprah Winfrey's interview with Rihanna aired last night—and it was a doozy. Think a lot of tears and talk of Chris Brown. In a clip obtained by TMZ, Rihanna says she and Brown aren't dating, but have "built... More » (Newser) – After much hype, Oprah Winfrey's interview with Rihanna aired last night—and it was a doozy. Think a lot of tears and talk of Chris Brown. In a clip obtained by TMZ, Rihanna says she and Brown aren't dating, but have "built a trust again" since the restraining order expired. "We love each other and we probably always will, and that's not anything that we're gonna try to change," she says. She says they're "very, very close friends" but it hasn't been easy. "It's awkward" when she sees him, "because I still love him," she explains. "My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face. … I think he was the love of my life." She "was angry for a long time," Rihanna says in another clip obtained by ABC News, but she has forgiven Brown. After he assaulted her, she was "more concerned about him" and even felt "protective" of him—which she calls "weird" and "confusing." "He made that mistake because he needed help," she explains, but "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." The trauma was particularly difficult for her to deal with, she says, because "I lost my best friend. Everything I knew switched. Switched, in a night." Less » Rihanna: I Will Always Love Chris Brown 1 of 2 Back to story » Rihanna talks to Oprah. (TMZ) Another portion of Rihanna's Oprah interview. (ABC News) Popular Video Stories 66% 3% 8% 17% 1% 6% RETURN TO THE STORY Check out other stories: To report an error on this story, notify our editors.