The ‘Talk That Talk’ star caused controversy when she teamed up with Brown for a remix of her track ‘Birthday Cake’ earlier this year, three years after he attacked her on the eve of the 2009 Grammy Awards and was subsequently sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community labour.
Her decision sparked reports that she was at loggerheads with her management over her decision to work with Brown, and also drew warnings from her former church pastor and domestic violence experts, who warned the singer not to become too close to her former flame.
But in an interview with Esquire magazine, Rihanna claimed that she had not anticipated the furore the collaboration would cause. “The whole thing caught me a little off-guard, to be honest. Especially the amount of negative attention. Because it never occurred to me how this was going to be a problem, you know. It really didn’t,” she said.
She then added:
I thought people were gonna be surprised that we finally did a record together, but I didn’t see how people could think it was a bad thing, you know? In my mind, it was just music.
The singer was also reportedly angry when it was put to her that the duet could send a negative message to her fans and insisted that the hook-up had been “in a completely professional environment, and on a complete professional note.”
She elaborated: “I mean, if I went back to him [as a girlfriend], then that’s a whole different discussion. And if I ever do, then that’s something that y’all have to talk to me about when – if – that ever happens.
“Until then, look at it for what it is,” she concluded. “I think a lot of people jumped to an assumption that was incorrect and they ended up looking stupid.”
Rihanna, who has announced her intention to embark on a would tour in 2013, has found herself in the centre of numerous controversies in recent months.