By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Aug 20, 2012 09:14 AM EDT
Rihanna professed that she is "very, very close friends" with Chris Brown and that she "truly still love him."
The pop star spoke with Oprah Winfrey for the season premiere of "Oprah's Next Chapter" on Sunday, Aug.19, in her hometown of Barbados. When Winfrey asked the "S&M" singer how she felt about Brown today, long after the infamous assault incident in February 2009, she said, "I still love him."
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"We have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order was dropped. We built a trust again and that's it. We love each other and we probably always will," she added. "I have forgiven him. It took me a long time. I was angry for a long time. I truly love him, so the main thing for me is that he's at peace...I care."
Although Brown is in a relationship while she is still single, Rihanna revealed that she met up with Brown in St.Tropez in July at a friend's yacht party. She admitted that seeing him was "awkward because I still love him."
"My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me," she added. "I have to maintain it and suppress it. When you don't understand those feelings you can make a lot of mistakes...I think he is the love of my life. He was my first love."
The 24-year-old explained to Winfrey how her relationship with Brown spiraled out of control in 2009: "We were very young and very spontaneous. We were falling in love and going at a really rapid pace. We forgot about ourselves as individuals."
Following the arrest for domestic violence after assaulting Rihanna in 2009, the R&B singer received five years of probation and one year of domestic-violence counseling. Rihanna said she was able to forgive Brown after she worked on her relationship with her father, Ronald Fenty.
She revealed to Winfrey during the interview that Fenty was physically abusive to her mother and had an addiction but once she forgave him, she was able to forgive Brown.
"I can't tell people how to feel about [him] ... they're entitled to feel angry because it wasn't a good thing that happened. But I have forgiven him," she said.
Brown is currently dating model Karrueche Tran. His career stalled the first two years following the arrest, however, he topped the music charts for the past year and also won himself a Grammy this year.
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