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Rihanna confirms: I’m seeing Chris Brown but it’s ‘different now’

Rihann(R) Chris Brown attend an NBA game between New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers Staples Center Los Angeles CaliforniChristmas Day

Rihanna (R) and Chris Brown attend an NBA game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, on Christmas Day, December 25, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Updated: March 2, 2013 11:36AM

It took a while, but Rihanna finally has reached a place where she is able to come clean about her renewed romance with Chris Brown.

The superstar’s Rolling Stone interview, released Wednesday, was a carefully scripted strategy the Barbados native and her team orchestrated to provide a forum Rihanna believed would be the best way to explain her feelings.

The singer is well aware of the fury many fans have expressed via social media the past year, ever since rumors began to circulate Brown was back in her life.

“Many of us who are close to Rihanna are very skeptical about all of this. We think that once a man is capable of abuse, it can so easily reoccur,” said a source in Rihanna’s inner circle. “But she clearly loves him and has promised that if he strays and becomes violent, it will be over for her forever.”

In the Rolling Stone piece, Rihanna explains things between her and Brown are “different now. We don’t have those types of arguments anymore. … We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don’t want to lose that.”

TV TALK: Fans of “How I Met Your Mother” will be happy the long-running CBS sitcom will be coming back for a ninth — and final — season, beginning this fall. Not only will the entire cast of regulars be back — Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan — but the show will finally reveal the identity of the mother in the title!

† The last holdout was Segel, but he reportedly was convinced the show’s relatively light work schedule — coupled with a very generous paycheck — would allow him to pursue the big-screen projects that now appeal to him most.

LINDSAY LORE: “You could really tell Judge [Stephanie] Sautner didn’t want to be in that courtroom any more than Lindsay Lohan did,” said an observer in the Los Angeles courtroom where the actress appeared Wednesday. The judge, my spy said, is “simply so tired of having to deal with Lindsay.”

That said, one might have detected a bit of sarcasm in Sautner’s voice as she told Lohan, “Glad to see you’re feeling better.” The actress initially had attempted to have her attorney Mark Heller provide a doctor’s note indicating an upper respiratory infection should preclude her from flying from New York for her court appearance Wednesday. After TMZ released photos of a seemingly healthy Lohan shopping in Manhattan, LiLo knew she had to get to L.A. or risk being in violation of her probation.

Wednesday’s hearings were all about setting up a March 1 pre-trial and March 18 trial date for the misdemeanor case alleging Lohan lied to police last year about a traffic crash in California. She additionally faces the possibility of being found guilty of violating her probation related to her stolen jewelry case.

BOOK BEAT: North Shore native Pete Wentz — who soared to rock-star fame as the bassist and primary lyricist for Fall Out Boy — has turned the writings he jotted down while touring with the band into his first novel.

The heavily autobiographical “Gray” is a gritty tale about a guy who struggles with conflicting emotions as his Chicago-based band hits it big, and tries to handle fan adoration while battling depression and his personal demons.

† Wentz will be in the area for a Feb. 19 book signing at Anderson’s Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson in Naperville.

TOGETHER/APART: Britney Spears and Jason Trawick may have canceled their engagement — and Trawick may no longer be involved in his ex-fiancee’s career — but there are reports from several sources indicating the duo still sees each other from time to time.

† Few thought it would have lasted even this long, but Life & Style reports Sharon Stone, 54, has called it quits with young model Martin Mica, 27. The couple had dated for eight months. The magazine quoted a source saying it was a lack of similar interests (Ya think?!) that led to the breakup. “It wasn’t so much the age difference,” the Stone pal said. “Her passions are philanthropy, politics, activism — he wasn’t into any of that.”

CLASS ACT: Don’t know how Nicholas Hoult truly feels about the breakup of his two-year romance with Jennifer Lawrence, but the English actor certainly has been taking the high road when asked about his ex’s award-winning march to what many think could be an Oscar-winning night Feb. 24. Asked about Lawrence’s big year at the Hollywood premiere for his new film “Warm Bodies” (opening Friday), Hoult candidly said he’s “very proud of her” and hopes her best actress nomination for “Silver Linings Playbook” wins her Oscar gold this year.

A source close to Lawrence told this column Wednesday that the actress “was not the least bit surprised by Nick’s comment. He’s a class act and Jen still cares deeply for him. … Obviously, it’s mutual.”

POSTERS PLUS: The Motion Picture Academy has received quite a gift from Dwight Cleveland. The Chicago real estate developer — who has assembled one of the largest and most historically significant collections of movie posters in the world — just donated nearly 1,100 of them to the Academy. This set zeroes in on the era of “B” movies ranging from Westerns to war films, musicals, biblical tales and social issue films. The collection will be housed in the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library and made available to filmmakers, historians, journalists and students — as well as the general public.

SAXY SET: The triple Grammy-winning Branford Marsalis and his famous saxophone will be front and center with his jazz quartet March 1 at North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall. For ticket information to “An Evening With Branford Marsalis,” call (630) 637-7469.

Bill Zwecker reports regularly on “Good Day Chicago” on WFLD-Channel 32.

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