For Rihanna, the beating she received at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, Chris Brown, wasn't enough to keep her away from him.
It took the realization that, as a role model, her decisions could influence other victims of domestic abuse to return to their abusers to finally persuade her to stay away from Brown, she told Diane Sawyer on "Good Morning America" Thursday.
"When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part," the singer said. "I could not be held responsible for telling them, 'Go back.' If Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriends won't kill these girls . . . I just didn't realize how much of an impact I had on these girls' lives until that happened. It was a wake-up call for me, big-time."
That Rihanna, 21, required that wake-up call was shocking, as was her reaction that she was "embarrassed" about her love for Brown. But in a way, that she is making these revelations - they continue Friday, as more of her interview with Sawyer airs on "Good Morning America" and "20/20" - as part of the publicity campaign for her upcoming "Rated R" album is even more shocking.
Nevertheless, Rihanna is moving ahead with promotion of her album, due in stores Nov. 23. She will receive Glamour's "Woman of the Year" award at Carnegie Hall on Monday and perform in London on Nov. 16 at a concert that will be streamed internationally on the Internet through nokia.com.
In her interview with Sawyer, Rihanna said that victims of domestic abuse need to think clearly about their actions.
"Don't react off of love. -- love," she said. "Come out of the situation and look at it third-person . . . Love is so blind."