Rihanna did not mince words talking to Oprah about Chris Brown … saying very simply, “I still love him.”

As part of tonight’s episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” O asked RiRi where her relationship with Chris stands

today, nearly three years after his brutal attack on her.

Rihanna explained, “We’re very, very close friends. We built a trust again and that’s it. We love each other and we

probably always will.”

RiRi says the two are just friends now and they are in no way back together … though she did admit, “I think he was

the love of my life.”

Let’s hope not.