"Everything I knew switched in a night," Rihanna says about the Feb. 8, 2009, incident in which she and Brown got in a fight that led to his attack. (He later pleaded guilty to assault.)
In the clip below from Oprah's Next Chapter, the 24-year-old explains why she actually felt protective over Brown at the time.
"It was a weird, confusing space to be in because as angry as I was —angry, hurt and betrayed — I felt like he made that mistake because he needed help and who's going to help him?" she says. "[I thought], everybody's going to say he's a monster ... and I was more concerned about him."
First Look: Rihanna Opens Up About Chris Brown
Check out another sneak peek from the special:
First Look: Rihanna on Oprah's Next Chapter
Oprah's Next Chapter airs Sundays at 9/8c on OWN.