Fame, fortune and celebrity certainly comes at a costly price. In the case of international, chart-topping pop star Rihanna, her personal business is no longer her own. She was promptly reminded of this during a recent interview to promote her new film “Battleship” on the Australian morning show “Sunrise,” when her interviewer underhandeldy questioned the 24 year-old singer how it felt to be the source of rumors that linked her romantically to Ashton Kutcher and former beau Chris Brown. Only those living underneath a large rock would be surprised to hear that instead of timidly retreating from this question, Rihanna, who has unofficially vowed to live a “thug life,” instead boldly flipped the script on the woman. “It’s very frustrating,” Rihanna responded in a cool manner. “Almost as frustrating as being asked about it. I mean, what’s the point?”
Although not shown on air, Rihanna is said to have abruptly walked out of the interview after that, making her disgust all the more apparent. The reporter seemed to have taken this fairly well, even informing viewers that the interview had abruptly ended at that point, but there’s no denying the fact that Rihanna definitely flustered and ultimately humiliated the woman with her frank response and subsequent departure. This candid interview style seems to be Rihanna’s new style, seeing as she also publicly shut down another reporter in England at a press meeting for “Battleship” after that reporter also tried to ask Rihanna about her alleged affair with Kutcher by covering the ask with compliments.
Having entered the music industry and risen to fame at such a young age, the Bajan singer has had to come-of-age in front of the camera. That means puppy love, first loves, and devastating heartache, and break-ups have all been played out on a widely public platform. Rihanna has actually been a good sport about the media and fans’ eagerness to pry into her life and snoop around for juicy details, habitually sharing intimate thoughts and pictures with over 16 million Twitter followers. Nonetheless, the young star seems to have decided that she still has a right to privacy and discretion and has begun to speak out for herself when both are threatened. So while Rihanna may be famously known for sparking the next hair style trend or number one hit, she may also soon influence the ways in which the media approach artists’ personal lives during interviews.
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Patrice Peck is a writer and journalist whose work explores the intersection of race, culture, and identity. Her work lives at www.patricepeck.com.