Is Rihanna's 'We Found Love' Video a Chris Brown Tribute?

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WRITTEN BY
William Goodman

Is Rihanna's new video for clubby smash "We Found Love," the first single from her upcoming sixth album Talk That Talk (out November 19), a sentimental tribute to her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown? Well, the evidence is stacking up.

Exhibit A: The clip stars a dead ringer for Brown, complete with dyed hair and bulging biceps. The actor, a British model/boxer named Dudley O'Shaughnessy, plays RiRi's booze-swilling, drug-addled love interest. Exhibit B: The video opens with a Rihanna voice-over that warns, "You almost feel ashamed that someone could be that important. No one will ever understand how much it hurts... you almost wish that you could have all that bad stuff back, so that you have the good." Exhibit C: In one scene, during a heated argument between the couple in a muscle car, the Brown look-alike gives the Barbadian beauty a slap on the face. Convinced yet?

The video, directed by Melina Matsoukas ("Hard," "S&M," "Rude Boy," "Rockstar 101"), documents the turbulent relationship between Rihanna and her Brown doppelganger up to their inevitable split. They're evidently addicted to both each other and to drugs (candy-color pills). There are good times (lots of making out, heavy petting, goofing off, skating, running naked through fields — which one farmer didn't deem a good time) and plenty of bad times, too (intense arguments, an overdose). In the end, though, the high replaces the romance and RiRi packs her bags and leaves as her man is nodded out on the floor.

In related news, Rihanna settled Wednesday with photographer David LaChapelle, who claimed her sexually charged video for "S&M," from her last album Loud, was "directly derived" from his pictures, reports the BBC. LaChapelle sued Rihanna earlier this year seeking $1 million in damages. A New York judge granted permission in July for the case to go to trial. The case was settled out of court for an undisclosed sum. "David is happy with the settlement," Jaret Keller told the BBC.

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