Elle's

Elle's April 17 cover, featuring Rihanna's latest comments on her beating at the hands of Chris Brown three years ago.

Rihanna graced the cover of Elle magazine this week with her new blonde hair (but don't tell her roots!), and gave a pretty shocking statement on her relationship with Chris Brown and how the much-publicized assault changed her – for the better!

It's embarrassing, Rihanna told Elle, in the issue that hits newsstands April 17. But that was my opening. That was my liberation.

...oh?!

Just in case you didn't catch that, she reiterated later, saying, I have more freedom the more people know about me. It's like, one less skeleton in the closet, one less burden, one less secret; now you know that, so you can say what you want about it. I don't have anything to hide.

She may say she doesn't have anything to hide, but rumors of her romantic reunion with Chris Brown say otherwise.

For weeks after the duo released two musical collaborations, rumors were flying that the reunion was more than just musical. At first it was just trickles of gossip about them being seen together at Rihanna's Valentine's Day bash, but pretty soon the rumor mill kicked into high gear and we were hearing that the two had plans to elope in Mexico.

That chatter died down for a few weeks, and it almost seemed as is the Bajan beauty was done with her abusive ex-boyfriend.

But then word leaked that her and Ashton Kutcher – whose house she was seen entering and leaving a few weeks ago – were through, and that she is indeed back with Chris...and Jay-Z ain't happy about it!

There was of course drama a few weeks back when Jay cut Rihanna from a track written by Drake for her, instead giving R.I.P. to Roc Nation newcomer Rita Ora. And then we heard that Jay-Z had sent a message through Beyoncé telling Rihanna that she can't see baby Blue Ivy Carter until she breaks it off with Chris. When she showed up to the king, queen, and baby prince of black celebritydom in New York, we assumed that meant it was over.

But now, Roc Nation is again worried that the Bajan beauty is back with Brown. They fear she'll secretly record an album with Brown, an anonymous source told the New York Post about the record label, just to defy them.

So what is it, Rihanna – was the beating your liberation, or did it just create another layer of lies? RiRi would have us believe the former, but it seems like the latter is more likely, despite what she's telling Elle.