R&B star Chris Brown brutally assaulted his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009. Graphic photos of the attack were circulated online, painting a gruesome picture of domestic violence and proving no one — regardless of status — is exempt from a toxic relationship.

Thirteen years later, Rihanna has moved on with A$AP Rocky, and the couple is expecting their first child any time now. But Rocky hasn’t forgotten about the brutality Rihanna experienced at the hands of her ex-boyfriend. In his latest single “D.M.B. (Das Mah Bitch),” he makes a subtle reference to Brown, rapping, “I don’t beat my bitch, I need my bitch.”

Chris Brown went into graphic detail about the night he beat Rihanna in 2017 as part of a documentary documentary titled Chris Brown: Welcome To My Life. After meeting Rihanna when he was just 15 years old backstage at a New York concert, he said their relationship soon blossomed into a “fairytale.”

But the fairytale ended when Brown confessed he’d had sex with a particular woman before they were together, losing Rihanna’s trust. Brown said, “From there it went downhill.” On February 8, 2009, he says a fight between the couple broke out in his Lamborghini after she went through his text messages and found a message from someone he was involved with in the past. Brown claimed the Barbados-born singer said she hated him and began to hit him.

“I remember she tried to kick me, but then I really hit her, with a closed fist, like I punched her,” Brown said. “I busted her lip. When I saw it, I was in shock. I was like, ‘Fuck, why the hell did I hit her?’ From there, she just spit in my face … like spit blood in my face and it enraged me even more. It was a real on fight in the car.”

Embed from Getty Images

Rihanna has long forgiven Brown for the assault. In 2020, Oprah Winfrey decided to re-release a 2012 interview with Rihanna for an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s Supersoul Coversations podcast in which Rihanna opened up about their special bond.

“We’ve been working on our friendship again,” she said. “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.”

Rihanna Says She 'Truly Loves' Chris Brown -- Even After 2009's Brutal Assault

She added, “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.”