The status of their relationship has been tensely debated for years since their explosive break-up. And Rihanna in a candid interview with Oprah Winfrey admitted despite its violent end she still loves ex-boyfriend Chris Brown.
The 24-year-old singer confirmed to the talk show host in a revealing interview that the pair ARE still 'very close friends' and that despite leaving her battered and bruised in the road after a vicious beating, she 'still loves him.'
And in words that must have felt like a stake through the heart of Brown's current long-suffering girlfriend Karreuche Tran added: 'We love each other and we probably always will.'
Of the incident in 2009, Rihanna conceded: 'It was embarrassing it was humiliating... I lost my best friend,' she said.
But the singer admits since the restraining order was dropped against Brown in February 2011, the pair have been working on their friendship, having seen each other as recently as last month in St Tropez.
'We've been working on our friendship again and now we're very close friends,' she said. 'And that's not anything we're going to try to change.'
But she said it's still difficult to see her ex, because her feelings are conflicting.
'It's awkward because I still love him.
'My stomach drops and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me. I have to maintain it and suppress it,' she explained, adding, 'When you don't understand those feelings you can make a lot of mistakes.'
'I think he is the love of my life. He was my first love.'
But she remembers, in part, where it went wrong: 'We were very young and very spontaneous. We were falling in love and going at a really rapid pace. We forgot about ourselves as individuals,' Rihanna explained.