Rihanna Elle Magazine

Rihanna is fiercely guarded about her freedom in the wake of her assault by Chris Brown (Photo: Elle)

Rihanna is fiercely independent in her personal life, and she’s not about to let anyone influence her feelings about Chris Brown.

“I respect what other people have to say. The bottom line is that everyone thinks differently,” she says in a new interview with Elle magazine. “I get it.”

The Barbadian singer touched off a firestorm of criticism when she collaborated with Brown on her song on “Birthday Cake,” and then on his song “Turn Up the Music.”

Brown, of course, savagely beat her unconscious on the eve of the Grammy Awards Show in 2009.

Rihanna Does It Her Way
(Click Photos to Enlarge!)

She became the poster girl for domestic abuse and he was convicted of assault. Back then, even Rihanna couldn’t seem them ever associating again.

“When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result into some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part. I couldn’t be held responsible for going back,” she revealed in a 2009 interview nine months after the attack.

“I stayed in a relationship with my abuser because he repeatedly threatened to kill himself if I left him. And I didn’t feel like I had any choice,” she said.

But in the new Elle interview, Rihanna, 24, politely brushed aside the criticism, although she was forgiving toward her critics. “I respect what other people have to say. The bottom line is that everyone thinks differently,” she told the magazine.

“It’s very hard for me to accept, but I get it. People end up wasting their time on the blogs or whatever, ranting away, and that’s alright. I don’t hate them for it.”

Rihanna and Brown have been spotted out together and the two are exchanging Tweets that some tabloids have interpreted as a feud between the singer and his new girlfriend Karrueche Tran. Rihanna said recently she is single. And she feels no need to apologize to anyone.

“Because tomorrow I’m still going to be the same person. I’m still going to do what I want to do,” she said.

Check out Rihanna’s hot photos.