The R&B superstar was beaten black and blue by Brown after she allegedly questioned him about text messages he was getting from an ex-girlfriend.
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Brown was found guilty of assaulting his then-partner and is still serving community service for his actions.
Rihanna has spoken little about the incident or her break-up, but she opens her heart for a revealing new interview in the December issue of Marie Claire magazine.
Stating she felt like "an empty vessel" for days following the fight, the Umbrella singer admits the violent run-in with her ex helped to make her a much better person.
She tells the publication, "I couldn't have been the woman I am, the friend, or the sister or the artist, or the role model I am today if I didn't go through what I went through."
"It's scary; you just lose touch of everything that you love and everything that you would normally do; how you would dress or how you would say something."
"I needed that wake-up call in my life. That was the only way I would have gotten out of that relationship."
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And the heartache from the split didn't last long: "I remember waking up one day and I knew I was over it. I didn't feel lonely. I felt like I wanted to get up and be in the world -- that was a great, great feeling."
"Once you're back on your feet ... if you ever make it back on your feet, that's the ultimate achievement."
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The 22-year-old star is now dating Los Angeles Dodgers baseball player Matt Kemp, 26, and tells the magazine she's very much in love: "He's just easy and really kind."