In 2009, Chris Brown brutally assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna, leading fans of both artists worldwide to assume that the two would never have any sort of relationship again. Not so, says the Def Jam starlet.

“We’ve been working on our friendship again,” said Rihanna in an interview on Oprah Winfrey’s “Oprah’s Next Chapter” series. “Now we’re very, very close friends. We built a trust again, and that’s it.”

“We love each other, and we probably always will,” added the Pop star. “That’s not something you can shut off if you’ve ever been in love.”

Rihanna was explicitly asked whether she was in a romantic relationship with Brown. “No. He’s in a relationship of his own. I’m single. But we’ve maintained a close friendship since the restraining order’s been dropped. We’ve just worked on it little by little. And it has not been easy. It’s not easy.”

“It’s awkward. It’s awkward because I still love him. My stomach drops. I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain that and suppress it.”

“I think he was the love of my life,” said Rihanna of Brown.

Watch the interview below.

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