Pop star Rihanna, who rekindled a relationship with singer Chris Brown in 2012 after his conviction for assaulting her three years earlier, says she had felt she could change him.

"A hundred percent," the singer, 27, tells Vanity Fair in an interview posted Tuesday. "I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn't understand him. . . . But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you're the enemy. You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I'm willing to put up with something, they think less of you . . . And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that's when I finally had to say, 'Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this.' Sometimes you just have to walk away."

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She adds: "I don't hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We're not friends, but it's not like we're enemies. We don't have much of a relationship now."

Brown, she says, was her last serious relationship to date.

In the VF interview, Rihanna also expressed admiration for Rachel Dolezal, the white former president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP, who for years had passed as African-American. "I think she was a bit of a hero, because she kind of flipped on society a little bit," the singer says. "Is it such a horrible thing that she pretended to be black? Black is a great thing, and I think she legit changed people's perspective a bit and woke people up."