Salt-N-Pepa star SANDRA 'PEPA' DENTON has reached out to Rihanna following her violent bust-up with Chris Brown - begging the singer not to make the same mistake of sticking with an abusive partner as she did.
The 1990s hip-hop star was allegedly beaten at the hand's of her ex-husband Anthony Criss throughout their decade long relationship.
And Denton admits it pains her to see a similar cycle happening to the Umbrella hitmaker - who was allegedly assaulted by Brown in a fight last month (Feb09), but, after a brief split, reconciled with the star.
She tells Essence magazine, "I know people will say I have a lot of nerve advising her when I stayed with my ex-husband for ten years and suffered abuse, but that's exactly why I can talk to her.
"I thought I loved him, but I had to finally realize that wasn't love. Thankfully, I lived to talk about it, but some women don't."
And the rapper urges Rihanna to turn her back on the troubled relationship as she is sending the wrong message to her young female fans.
Denton adds, "At the end of the day, your life is on the line when you're dealing with abusive men, and your life is more important than any man. Don't rationalise or internalise abusive behaviour because love doesn't hurt.
"You are an icon to so many young girls and your actions are telling them you don't love you enough. Take time out and love yourself and thank God that you survived it."
Brown faces almost five years behind bars if he's convicted of assaulting Rihanna. He's due in court for his arraignment in Los Angeles next month (Apr09).