Rihanna Breaks Her Silence

Ever since that night, Chris Brown has been on the mea culpa tour. But now, in an exclusive interview with ABC’s 20/20, Rihanna has her say about their love affair, the fight that shocked the blogosphere and how she feels about that picture.

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I felt like I went to sleep as Rihanna and woke up as Britney Spears …

—Rihanna, as told to Glamour magazine.

If you have ever watched E! True Hollywood Story, chances are, you already know the outcome. Great fame, greater fallout, stardom and scandal stretched out across headlines. Feb. 7 was the fallout for pop singer Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty; the moment her private life collided head-on with her very public persona. Since the night she was assaulted by her then-boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, after a pre-Grammy Awards party, the two have been divvied up by the media, each made out to play one of two parts—he, the victimizer; she, the victim.

Amid a haze of hearsay and speculation in the months following the incident, Rihanna has been silent. That is, until now.

She appeared Friday night on 20/20 for an exclusive interview with Diane Sawyer, sharing her side of the story in the first interview since February’s attack. Sounding dignified and in control, she talked about how she hid after the attack, feeling ashamed and alone.

"I felt very lonely,” she said. “I couldn't even go back to my own house because there were 200 people outside with cameras, paparazzi, journalists, fans, neighbors."

It was the end of a made-for-the-blogosphere romance. Sites like theYBF.com, tracked Chrihanna’s every move and PDA. Award shows, after-parties and romantic getaways all captured on-camera and devoured by the public. Until that night.

The details of what happened, Rihanna said, are “ugly.” After confronting Chris with a text message from another woman, things “escalated into him being violent.”

So violent, she said, that he had to have blacked out as he put her in a headlock, bit and punched her repeatedly. Her voice faltered a bit as she described what happened, but she appeared to hold her emotions in check.

“My next option was to get out the car and walk—start walking in a gown and a bloody face,” she said. “I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a plan. That whole night was not part of my plan.”