Michael Thompson / GQ 1 / 12
Michael Thompson / GQ 1 / 12

By Melissa Hunter

GQ interviews Rihanna in its latest issue (along with capturing some stunning photos). Having a tumultuous year (understatement of 2009) after the now-infamous incident with Chris Brown, she kept mum on her experience for months, opting to make her most vocal statements through fashion and music.

RELATED: See more of Rihanna's GQ photo shoot

Rihanna has finally begun to open up about Chris Brown and the subject of domestic abuse. GQ had the opportunity to discuss these sensitive topics with the young diva. Keep reading for excerpts from the article, then go to GQ.com for the full story.

On finally confronting the experience publicly:

"Very liberating. It's relieving. Because it was built up for so long, and all these thoughts and emotions have been running through my mind for the past eight months. And now it's like I finally get to let go and move on ... And I knew that was the only way I could have done it. And I wanted people to move on with me. 'Cause the last big thing they know about me is 'That Night.' And I don't want that to be what people define me as.

On coming to grips with the dangerous situation:

"I just knew I'd be good one day. I just knew it. So I just kept waiting for that day. Like, you know, even though it was tough the entire time, there were ups and downs, I just kept knowing: I'm gonna get over it one day. I'm gonna get over it."

On picking herself up off the ground:

"Nobody [helped me through it]. Really just music. And working. 'Cause I didn't really want to be around anybody, for them to stare at me and stuff, and feel sorry for me. So I just — I stayed in the house a lot. Then I started to get cabin fever. I was like, 'I'm going crazy in here.'"

On the insight she took away from the experience:

"Um ... really, really, really that love is blind. It took a lot of strength to pull out of that relationship. To finally just officially cut it off. It was like night and day. It was two different worlds. It was the world I lived for two years, and then having the strength to say, 'I'm gonna step into my own world. Start over.'"

On Jay-Z's guardian angel status:

"Me and Jay-Z -- we have a very close relationship. So he was there helping me through it and giving me advice and guidance, and just words of support. Like, strength."

On realizing her integral role as a role model:

"After everything happened, it was a wake-up call to me ... I didn't realize how much of an effect it had on young girls' lives, and that's part of the insight that I wanna give. Stop blaming yourself for that outcome. There's nothing you can do, ever, to excuse a man's behavior like that."

On how she's fighting public misconceptions:

"I just think people straight up don't know who I am; they just know what I look like, they know the idea of me. But they'll learn more this time, because now I let my guard down, and I'm more comfortable just being myself. That's exactly what I want to be. And even on the album, you definitely get a gist of my personality."


Photos: The Women of GQ, 2009

Photos: GQ's Top 10 Cover Girls of the Decade

Get the Rihanna issue of GQ — guaranteed!

Learn to dress better for less in 15 days