Rihanna Tells Oprah That She Was ‘More Concerned’ About Chris Brown After Beating (Video)

"I just felt that he made that mistake because he needed help," Rihanna says of her former boyfriend

Rihanna might have taken a vicious beating from her then-boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009, but the "Umbrella" singer suggests that her attacker might have been the real victim during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

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Speaking to Winfrey for an upcoming episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter," the singer says she "felt protective" of Brown due to the ensuing media coverage of the beating, and that she was "more concerned" about Brown than anything else.

Also read: Chris Brown to Grammy Critics: "F— Off"

"It became a circus and I felt protective. I felt the only person they hate right now is him," the 24-year-old singer told Winfrey with teary eyes. "I just felt that he made that mistake because he needed help, and who's going to help him? Nobody's going to say, 'He needs help'; everyone's going to say, 'He's a monster' without looking at the source. I was more concerned about him."

Brown, 23, was charged with felony assault and making criminal threats in connection with the incident, and reached a plea deal of community service, five years' formal probation and domestic violence counseling.

Also read: Rihanna and Chris Brown Collaboration: Fans and Celebrities React

More recently, Brown was implicated in a brawl between himself and the entourage of fellow singer Drake, who's also been romantically linked to Rihanna. The June melee, at the New York nightclub W.i.P., left several people injured, including Brown.

Winfrey's full interview with Rihanna runs Sunday at 9 p.m. on OWN. Until then, watch the singer discuss her concerns for Brown below.