LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - After being beaten by singer Chris Brown in February, pop star Rihanna felt embarrassed she fell in love with the type of man he was and left him to set an example for young women, she said in an interview on Thursday.
Rihanna's comments to ABC News mark her first TV interview in which she spoke about the beating, which occurred on the eve of the music industry's Grammy Awards in Los Angeles and resulted in Brown's guilty plea to an assault charge.
The Barbados-born Rihanna, whose hit songs include "Umbrella" and "Disturbia," said she felt ashamed when the public learned. A police photo of her bruised and bloodied face was leaked to the media, and a detailed description of the event was placed in court documents.
"I didn't want people to think that that's the kind of person -- that I fell in love with that person," Rihanna told TV journalist Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America."
"That's embarrassing. That's embarrassing that that's the type of person that I fell in love with, so far in love, so unconditional that I went back," she said.
Rihanna and Brown, whose hit songs include "Run It" and "Kiss Kiss," reunited within weeks of the beating spending time together in Miami at the home of rap star Sean "Diddy" Combs. But Rihanna has since left Brown.
"It's completely normal to go back," Rihanna said.
"You start lying to yourself," she said. "The minute the physical wounds go away, you want this thing to go away, this is a memory you don't want to have ever again."
But the 21 year-old said she was motivated to leave Brown by the knowledge that young girls look up to her.
"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," she said in the interview.
"I couldn't be held responsible for telling them, 'Go back.' Chris, even if Chris never hit me again, who's to say that their boyfriend won't," she said.
Rihanna also advised women who are abused not to react based on love.
"Come out of the situation and look at it third person and for what it really is, and then make your decision, because love is so blind," she said.
A representative for Brown could not be reached for comment.
Brown, who previously had enjoyed a squeaky clean image, was sentenced to 180 days of community service and five years of probation for the assault.
He publicly apologized, and has begun performing community service, which includes roadside cleanup, in his home state of Virginia.
On Friday, "Good Morning America" will air the second part of Sawyer's interview with Rihanna. The pop star will discuss what happened that night in February, when Brown hit her while they were in a car on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte