Oprah Winfrey explored issues of domestic abuse Thursday, dedicating her show to the topic in an attempt to “send love” to both Chris Brown and Rihanna and help the embattled couple “heal.”
Brown, 19, was charged with two felony counts after he allegedly brutally abused Rihanna, real name Robyn Fenty, 21, following a party in Los Angeles last month. The couple later reunited and have reportedly planned a duet together.
After teen guests criticized Rihanna for taking Brown back, Winfrey said that she did not intend to attack the couple, adding that she was “sending love to both of them.”
PHOTOS: Click to see photos of Chris Brown and Rihanna.
Reaching out to teens and parents, Oprah told her viewers that a woman who returns to a man who hits her does so because “she doesn’t think she is worthy of a man” who won’t.
“It all boils down to how you feel about yourself,” Oprah said.
With guest co-host Tyra Banks, Oprah reiterated her previous message to Rihanna that “If a man hits you once, he will hit you again,” adding that “love doesn’t hurt.”
Banks, who has hosted both artists on her talk show seperately, said that both Rihanna and Brown grew up witnessing tumultuous relationships.
“Rihanna told me that her parents used to argue so intensely and she used to get these headaches, almost migraines ... and it was almost living hell for her,” Banks said.
Of Brown, Banks said that he confessed to witnessing domestic violence against his mother at the hands of a man with whom she was involved. Brown told Banks that he was so scarred by the trauma of watching the abuse that he would "wet the bed.”
"It's so sad that even when you grow up in an environment and [even when] you disdain that environment, you really cannot help yourself until someone helps you," Winfrey said.
Next Thursday, the Oprah show will continue to explore the issue by speaking with men who say they have been abusers.