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RIHANNA is taking Chris Brown back to her native Barbados over New Year in a bid to win over her friends and family.

The 24-year-old singer has booked a plush five-star villa on the exclusive Gold Coast area of the tropical island for a “bonding holiday”.

She hopes Brown — who left her battered and bruised in a vicious assault in 2009 — will be able to convince her close circle that he’s a changed man.


Not turning her back on him … RiRi seen in the latest US GQ
Rihanna after being attacked by Chris Brown in 2009

Battered and bruised … pic of Rihanna showing her after being attacked by Chris Brown

And Rihanna wants to persuade them that — despite fierce criticism — she was right to take him back.

The star has also planned for Brown’s mother to fly out so the two sets of families can spend time together.

A source said: “The more the public criticise Rihanna for getting back with Chris, the more determined she is to do whatever she wants.

“While no one else can understand it, she’s convinced that Chris is the love of her life and her soulmate and that they’re simply meant to be together.

“She’s booked him and his mum into a five-star villa in Barbados over New Year so they can all get some downtime with her family.

Rihanna and Chris Brown in 2009

Smiling … couple hours before Chris Brown’s attack on Rihanna in 2009

“But they’re unrepentant and they want to show the whole world that they’ve moved on from what happened in 2009.”

Rihanna — whose album Unapologetic went straight in at No 1 on Sunday — was pictured attending the after-party for Brown’s gig in Berlin this week.


Out now … GQ
Mario Sorrenti / GQ USA

Her family and friends may slowly come round to the idea of accepting Brown back into the fold — but many of Rihanna’s fans remain far from convinced.

R&B star Brown, 23, was forced to close his Twitter account on Monday following a bitter online spat with US comic Jenny Johnson. She had previously criticised him for his treatment of RiRi.

Brown has already been forced to cancel a gig in Guyana on Boxing Day after protests from women’s rights groups.

Rihanna’s followers may also be unimpressed about the couple’s plan to duet at next February’s Grammy Awards. Brown’s attack happened the night before the 2009 ceremony.

Virginian-born Brown was found guilty of assault and ordered to do 1,400 hours of community service and complete a domestic violence programme.

He later released a video apologising to Rihanna.

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