Rihanna is back with boyfriend and accused abuser Chris Brown because she doesn't feel good about herself, Oprah Winfrey told her audience Thursday on a show devoted to domestic violence.
"Let me tell you why she got back with him, in my opinion," Winfrey said. "If you go back with a man who hits you, it is because you don't feel you're worthy of being with a man who won't."
Winfrey said returning to an abusive relationship boils down to how the victim feels about herself. If you were raised right, she said, "and think you are a wonderful person, somebody hitting you is really offensive to you."
Last month, Brown was charged with two felonies for assaulting the Barbados-born singer. The two initially split, but they've reportedly gotten back together and have recorded a duet.
Winfrey used the Brown and Rihanna incident to spend an hour discussing domestic abuse.
"This show is dedicated to all the Rihannas of the world, and to any young men who could ever think about hurting a woman," Winfrey said.
Model and talk show host Tyra Banks, who said she had been emotionally abused in a relationship, recalled Rihanna telling her about growing up around parents who were always fighting, resulting in severe migraines.
"It was almost like a living hell for her," Banks said. "The moment her parents separated, her migraines went away."
Likewise, Brown once told Banks he witnessed abuse in his home between the ages of 7 and 13. Brown said the "visual abuse" had an impact on his relationships with women.
"I treat them differently," he told Banks in an earlier interview played Thursday on "Oprah." "I don't want to put a woman through the same thing that person put my mom through."
Banks told Winfrey when she heard about the Brown-Rihanna incident, she went back to that earlier interview.
"I said, oh my God, he's repeating it," Banks said.
She noted Rihanna, while a huge star, is just a regular girl.
"She should not be attacked," Banks said. "We need to send her love, and hope for her to make the right decision."
Winfrey quickly added: "I think we need to send love to both of them .... Him to be healed, and for her to be healed also."