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*Rihanna finally cops to her rekindled relationship with Chris Brown in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, which features her on the cover.

Opening up about the scrutinized reunion with her ex-boyfriend — who is still on probation for beating her nearly four years ago — the “Diamonds” singer says that her public image is less crucial to her than her happiness.

“I decided it was more important for me to be happy,” says the 24-year-old, who began seeing Brown again in late 2011, eventually going public about their rekindled romance via Twitter and many PDA-heavy appearances with Brown.

“I wasn’t going to let anybody’s opinion get in the way of [my happiness],” says Rihanna, who has been criticized by many for taking back her ex — and the potential message it conveys about those in abusive relationships. “Even if it’s a mistake, it’s my mistake. After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I’d rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it.”

Offering new insight into the nature of the couple’s romance, Rihanna confides to the magazine, “When you add up the pieces from the outside, it’s not the cutest puzzle in the world . . . You see us walking somewhere, driving somewhere, in the studio, in the club, and you think you know.”

She insists that her current relationship with Chris is markedly evolved from the couple they were when he abused her in February 2009.

“It’s different now. We don’t have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about s–t. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don’t want to lose that.”

But Brown, she insists, will forever be on notice — and she won’t tolerate one moment of abuse. “He doesn’t have the luxury of f–king up again,” she says of Breezy. “That’s just not an option. I can’t say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I’m pretty solid in the knowing that he’s disgusted by that. And I wouldn’t have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility.”