I'm Oprah Winfrey, welcome to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast, I believe that one of the most valuable gifts you can give yourself is time taking time to be more fully present. Your journey to become more inspired and connected to the deeper world around us. Starts right now.
I just recently came back from Barbados with Rihanna. She was thoughtful. It's amazing how lonely you can feel.
She was very emotional.
Do you think Chris Brown is a true love for you? Where does your relationship with him stand today?
She was vulnerable.
You just shocked me from touring her old neighborhood and childhood home to the surprise she's wanted to give her mom since she was a little girl. She was 100 percent herself.
This she. So do you think you for you. Well, you're on my land. Yes.
Yes, it's gorgeous. OK, it looks like you've been having quite the summer.
You look like you are having the life of my dreams. OK, jogging in Central Park. Oh, it was awesome really. I had a great time floating down the Mediterranean. Yes. And I barely did anything. I stayed on the boat most of the time. I wanted to get out and see everywhere. But yeah, it just felt good to not have anything to do.
You know, from afar it looks like, wow, you are living like dreams, are you?
I'm I'm living the life of my dreams and way beyond what I dreamt of, I passed that a long time ago.
Can you even wrap your brain around all that it means now artistically to be you? It is never going to be second nature. I don't I don't think I can ever be normal. So you were 16 when you left 16, 16. Every time I think of that, it's a little crazy. I don't know if I would ever be able to do that as a mom. Yeah, but your mom did. She did. Yeah. I don't know how.
16. I was not afraid at all.
Did you know what you wanted then? Yes, 100 percent.
I only left because things were working out the way, you know, in the direction that I wanted to go. And you done that audition. Yes. Jay had heard the audition. Yes, I did an audition with Jay. What is the ride been like? So you started out eight years ago.
What's that riding that wave of fame been like?
I guess it started off really. I would say claustrophobic, really a little bit. Yes, I feel like I was really, really protected. I'm really guarded with myself. I felt like they were giving me a blueprint and I couldn't get. Who is they when you say, oh, well, the marketing.
People at the level it was really the machine, but they had a brand and they had an idea of what they wanted me to be. Yeah. Without figuring out who I was and then working with that, I felt stifled because I don't even know who I am. And at 16 and 17 years, like nobody does. Right. So I was uncomfortable with that. And then the only way I could do that is by bursting out of it.
I know that you were here not too long ago for the funeral of your grandma. Yes. It's a great darling.
What did she impart to you that you will have forever? She was a legend. She was a well rounded woman. Like, she taught me a lot about forgiveness. She taught me a lot about loving my enemies. She taught me a lot about you have enemies. She taught me a lot about spirituality, faith, strength as a woman. And the one thing she wants me to do is marry someone who loves more than than I love them. Is that what you say?
Because. Yes, because that a woman will always give they'll always give even more than they need to resolve. This means is maternal. And even with a husband, she said it'll be that way with them as well. And they'll only meet you halfway if they love you a little more. Hmm. Good advice, grand good advice, good advice. Mm hmm.
We know you took some time off and you spent some of her final days with her. What did that mean to you? I don't know how important those days were. I just didn't know what else to do. Well. Trust or printmaking? But. Yes, I didn't know what else to do. I wasn't hearing a lot of good things, you know, we knew she was sick for a long time, so we were grieving her as she was alive.
So in the end, it got really hot and we ended up just canceling a week, 10 days, actually, a week and a half to London. And I ended up spending time with her in New York. I didn't know like it was the end, but I saw her. You just taking every moment because. Thank you. So what's your favorite one of her favorite memory of her latest memory you want to share with the world's?
I was shooting a film in New Orleans, a comedy, and I had four days to shoot there, and then I had a day off in L.A. So instead I spent my day off in New York. So I flew there and I went to the hospital and she didn't know what I was coming. So I showed up and she was just like, I mean, she just broke down. We were talking I was hugging her and she just went. It is a party.
She says a party, which means is it a party, like she said? I said, no grand grand old party. Oh, my goodness. And I just laugh. I just kept thinking that you really are my grandmother. Wow. Wow. It was just so cute that she was so excited. And that's when I felt like she was trying to say. Her going away was a party with a celebration, a celebration of this legend like beautiful.
You think it's great you can cry about it. Thank you. Yeah, that's a tribute to her. That's a tribute to a life well lived. A life well. OK, so let's talk about I just want to say this. Esquire magazine named you the sexiest woman alive, calling you the indisputable champion of carnal pop. And they went on to say that you are the essence of the word that rhymes with punk. You're the essence. Of that word, because I didn't want to be bleeped, you know what I'm saying?
What did that mean to you?
I don't even know what that means. That's what I'm about to say. Like, what does that mean?
That you are the essence of the F word? I really I do not think about things like that, OK? That's not that's not a title. That's not something I'm like, oh, my gosh. I did a great I had a great achievement here with this title.
I mean, I don't really even understand, but when they named you the sexiest man alive, was that at least you felt like flattering. Flattering. Yes, inaccurate, but flattering, to say the least. I definitely was excited about that. I thought it was cute. When did you get to be or how did you get to be so comfortable in your own sexual skin? You wear that very well.
Thank you. I had to figure out something like that's what I had to do. I had to pretend that I was as comfortable. I really was not. You were not in no way. No way. No way.
No barbital. So be very proud to that. I just felt. Like, I had to fake it, I had to just go for it. In Barbados, we have a very sexual culture, sexiest woman alive, Esquire magazine, hello on the cover. You the sexiest woman alive was not comfortable. I know you have to.
You have to. Overcome certain things, and, you know, I can I can do that no, no, I can experiment and I can try things and I can figure myself out. You know? I know you have a very personal relationship with your fans, you call them the banana around the Navy. You say they those throngs of multitudes of people have helped you get through difficult times. How did throngs of people help you get through difficult times?
It's amazing how lonely you can feel and like nobody understands.
And the moment you reach out and put your guard down and you're vulnerable, somebody always reaches out and and knows that.
You know, you're not alone, they go through the same thing and I put a lot of importance in that relationship with my family.
Yes. What do you want them to know? I want them to feel comfortable knowing that I have flaws as well. I want them to know those flaws because I'm afraid of the pedestal. Wow. I'm super duper afraid of the pedestal that comes with fame and being a celebrity. So I keep myself as close to the ground as possible. I want to be a peer to my fans. I don't ever want to be above them or think that because they're fans, I'm not one of them or they're not one of us.
We're all people. We have because we all want love, my new favorite, not because we all want love is true. This is all looking for the same thing is very true. So are you comfortable with the title role model? No, because of what society has made that title is become a title of perfection. And that is something that nobody can achieve and. I can't say that I'll get it right every time because I absolutely want I wish you're still figuring it out for yourself.
Absolutely, absolutely. I'm a work in progress. Really.
OK, so I'm going to ask you a question somebody asked me recently through me. So my take your second. But maybe you want. Who are you? That's a really good question, because you never think about this until somebody asks you a question. OK, I'll tell you some things. I love to have fun. I love to be spontaneous. I'm intrigued by. Things that are a little adventurous, things are a little unknown. I'm very black and white when it comes to my business, but I do allow a gray area in my personal life.
I want people to feel good, people around me, whatever that means, whatever I can do for them. I don't know what do you think I am after I tell you those things? But those are some things about me. What's the hardest and the loneliest of being you, I mean, we all see the glam, we see the Centropa, we see the parasailing, we see the parties, we see. But what is the hardest and the loneliest side of this fame?
This kind of artist is being lonely. That's the hardest, the loneliest. As for me, as an individual, I have a thing where I don't want people to think I'm weak or look at me as a victim, so I don't like to tell people when when I'm going to something because it's human nature to always keep that in mind. When you see the person, you can see them two years from now and you always remember that problem that they went through.
And it's hard to see past that. And that's me, my own ego and my own pride. And I want people to look at that. So I don't share that, not even with my friends sometimes.
In the early morning hours of February eight, 2009, Chris Brown and Rihanna left Clive Davis annual pre Grammy party, according to police reports, while driving home. The two got into a heated argument which escalated into a vicious and violent attack. Chris Brown was arrested for assault and pled guilty. He would later be sentenced to 180 days of community service and five years probation.
I was thinking maybe you aren't aware of the velocity of feelings that people had when the incident when he was arrested in 2009. I think it's kind of like this. The reason why a lot of women choose not to let their family and friends know if they're in an abusive relationship, because once you tell your mother, once you tell your friend, that's all they remember.
Yeah. So I think that when the world saw that in 2009, that's what stuck with so many people. Absolutely. Absolutely. But nobody could feel that more than me. I was hurt the most. Nobody. Felt what I felt like. So it was hurt the most because it happened, happened, it happened to me and it happened to me in front of the world. It was embarrassing, was humiliating. It was hurtful. You know, it's not easy.
I lost my best friend, like everything I knew.
Switched, switched in a night. And I couldn't control that, so I have to deal with that, and that's not that's not easy for me to understand or interpret as and it's not easy to interpret on camera, not with the world watching. So it was hard for me to even pay attention to. My mind figuring things out, because now it became a circus and I felt pretty stiff, like I felt like. The only person they hate right now is him.
It was it was a weird it was a weird, confusing space to be in because as angry as I was angry and hurt and betrayed, I just felt like. He made that mistake because he needed help and like, who's going to help him? Nobody is going to say he needs help. Everybody is going to say he's he's a monster without looking at the source. And I was more concerned about. Him. That is really powerful. That's really powerful that in that moment, I would have never thought that you just shocked me because in that moment I would have never thought that what you were thinking about is protecting him.
So where does your relationship with him stand today? You know, you can't believe what you read where what do you want the world to know about your relationship with him?
We've been working on our friendship again, and now we're very, very close friends. We built a trust again and that's it. Like we love each other and we probably always will. And that's not anything that we're going to try to change is not something you can shut off if you've ever been in love. Are you just trying to be?
Are you seeing each other again? No. He's in a relationship of his own. I'm single, but we have maintained a very close friendship ever since the restraining order has been dropped. We've just worked on it little by little, and it has not been easy. You know, it's not easy.
But, you know, there were rumors that you saw him in Central Park, did you? Yes, I did.
We went to Mutual Friends Party on a yacht. And what happens when you see him? It's as awkward is career, because I still love him, you know. Does your heart do this to your heart? Do that thing? My stomach drops, yeah. Yes. And I have to maintain this poker face and, you know, not let it get to. The outer part of me, I have to maintain that and suppress it, but interpret it and understand it and understand that that's not going to go away, that is peaceful.
You know, you have and you don't understand those feelings. You can you can make a lot of mistakes.
Do you think Chris Brown is a true love for you? Absolutely, I think he was the love of my life and he was the first love and I see that he loved me the same way. We were very young and very spontaneous, that we ran free, we ran wild. We were falling in love and going at a really rapid pace that we forgot about ourselves as individuals. We forgot about our personal discipline. We needed something to completely shut that off and show us what we were missing, what we were taking for granted.
And if we really care about each other, we care about each other's happiness. So it's not even about us being together. I truly love him. So the main thing for me is that he is at peace. You know, I'm not at peace if he's a little unhappy or he's still lonely or you know, that that's I care like, you know, he actually matters that he finds that peace.
A lot of people thought that hitting you was unforgivable. Have you forgiven him? I have forgiven him. It took me a long time. I was angry for a long time. I felt like this is not my fault. This is not me doing this. And still, I have to worry. And, you know, all those times I was I was resentful. I held a grudge. I was dark, I was angry. And I was coming out in my music was coming on my shirt, my clothes was coming out and my attitude.
And I didn't like that feeling. It was heavy. It was heavy. What you do to get over. Here they come again. Repaired my relationship, my dad, your dad. I was so angry at him and I. It's just. Angry about a lot of things from my childhood, and I couldn't separate him as a husband from him as a father, I felt like he was a bad husband.
He was about that because you watched him do some bad things to your mom.
I witnessed a lot of it as a child in my household and with violence as he was and, you know. My family broke up because of the addiction, his addiction, but I remember just. One day, like thinking, why can't I come to a place where I let somebody in? Why can't I love, like I couldn't love, like I would get to a place, I would get far and I would talk to guys like them, and then the minute I start to really like them, it's like blank, don't even call, don't know change.
Don't don't even my address never seen them again. I would talk to them again.
You would do that. Yeah. Because that's because I wanted to know why. I wanted to know why and I would think why is my idea of what's supposed to happen. Like and it was because I wasn't having a relationship my father anymore. Like I completely I wasn't able to connect with a man and, you know, past a certain point. And the minute I. Was able to realize my father was. Probably one of the best fathers in the world, like he taught me everything, and as awful as he was to my mom at times, it didn't compare to how great he was as a father.
And I had to come to terms with that. And I was able to close that gap with him. And all kinds of emotions started happening after that. All kinds of things started making sense.
A lot of. I thought I hit it, Chris, and I realized it was it was love that was tarnished. It looked like it because it was ugly, angry, it was inflamed, it was Tante and. I realize that what it was, is I had to forgive him because I cared about him still, and the minute I let go of that, I started living again.
You made peace with your father and then you were able to make peace with Chris? Yes, yeah. Yes. Because you realize the connection between. Yes. What your father had done and what, Chris? Yes. Yes. Because, you know, and all father daughter relationships, it's the first. Way any girl child learns what it means to be loved by a man.
That's where I got the connection between the two. And then I had to go to the source like way.
So the bottom line is you have moved on from that incident in 2009 where you were abused and he was arrested, even though you know that that will follow probably both of you for the rest of your life.
Yes. And is that what you want the world to know? You have moved on. I mean, I have to move on. And, you know, as I said, it happened to me. So I can't tell people how to feel about it. They're entitled to feel angry because it's not it wasn't a good thing to happen. But you have forgiven him. I have. I have. And that's my personal thing.
And you're forgiving him does not mean that you are weak or that you are a victim or that you are.
And that's what I had to realize because I felt like that. I felt like if I forgive him, I just become a statistic. I just become this week. Victim who was hurt and poor, me and I never know, so I just got really strong, they put up a guard, I never pay attention, I just swept under the rug until it just started picking up. And it even was coming out in your songs, because I think it was a song about I don't want to be a victim.
I want to absolute.
Yes, I like what you've done and I want to know why. Hello to that one. Yeah. You did a great job. Thanks for being one hundred percent. You're so you're awesome. I felt yourself.
Thank you for. Here we go. I can't believe this driving with Red Riding with Oprah in Barbados. Hello.
One thing is clear. Rihanna loves her island of Barbados, Zealand, two of them I grew up with.
And she invited me to check out her childhood home where she lived until age 16.
This is going to be fine.
This is how you know who somebody really is.
The. It's how people react when one of the biggest pop stars in the world comes home.
Oh, my gosh, how are you?
Oh, my God, this is Chakiris daughter. Hey, pretty girl. I am so glad to see you. All right. Bye bye. See you soon. That's awesome. I love. I love that. Even as we're driving through the neighborhood, everybody's shouting, Robin, you're still Robin to the neighborhood. Yes. Wow. Very true.
This is the place where Diana and her two younger brothers, Rory and Rijad, lived with their parents in this bungalow. You know who lives there now? I don't buy somebody's home.
We're going in. Hi, neighbor, this best never never fear. Hello. Hello. Is it OK if we have a look around and say, I just wanted to show her my home that I grew up in? So this is your living room, these windows we would hang out this window. Where was your bedroom?
My, me, my brother and my mom stayed in here. I used to help my mom cook and I learned everything in the kitchen right here, right here over this stove. Right here on this on that. So, yeah. Wow. How old were you? I was between the ages of five and 16 when I left. Wow. Did you know this was Rihanna's old house? Yeah.
Mean, a lot of people know. A lot of people come.
That's really awesome. And they've just come to take a picture of the house.
Yeah, they just come to the house. That's good. That's good. That's nice. Well, thanks for letting us come in for.
Thanks for letting us all much. Thank you. Sorry for dropping like that. Thank you. Yeah. OK, and that was some fun riding with Miss Rihana, I love you. Right now, Winona's mother, Monica, is coming here to this beautiful location, her lovely, lovely daughter has a big surprise for where they're coming.
Oh, my. Governor Brown is about to give her mother this house, see, it's such a pretty area, do you get up here often? Yes, I want to try to see the pool. So I am so happy that you came to do this interview with me.
Yes. Yeah, my pleasure. But let me just say, your lovely daughter has something she wanted to share with you. OK. OK.
Oh, lovely. So cute.
No, I'm not pregnant that you're not like. Oh, what is it? OK, well, I wanted to do this for you for a very long time.
You have been such an amazing mother example, soldier, and you get to walk away with the key to this whole.
Oh, are you serious? Yes, look around, this is all you girl, your fuzzy look at it.
This is your house and my first guest and I'm your first guest. You have to I have to have a picture of you hanging on the wall.
My first guest is all Rihanna used her grandmother's China as inspiration to decorate the living room in this stunning five bedroom house. Cheers.
Cheers. Cheers to the weekend girl. Good daughter, good daughter, good daughter.
So let me just ask you a couple of questions. What are you proudest of right now about her?
All because she has remained so humble and so close to her family. Yeah, I see that same Robin to us.
She's Robin. She's Robin. She's now Robin demands. That's you know, that's what I'm very, very proud of. Yeah. You're not pressure for to find a guy, are you? Not yet.
Did you want to make a toast? I want to toast to one. Your first trip to my home. Yes.
Now to her home, our house and to to family man. To to good vibes. To love and happiness. To everybody. Just a family to goodbye. Thank you. Goodbye. Goodbye. Thank you.
Goodbye that. I'm Oprah Winfrey and you've been listening to Super Soul Conversations, the podcast. You can follow Super Soul on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. If you haven't yet, go to Apple podcast and subscribe rate and review this podcast. Join me next week for another super soul conversation. Thank you for listening.