Gabrielle Union Defends Rihanna, "Man Down" Video; Reflects on Attempt to Shoot Rapist

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You read the headline right. Gabrielle Union tried to shoot a man who raped her. Understandably, Rihanna's "Man Down" video hit close to home for her.

We've debated whether or not Rihanna is a bad role model based on the violent storyline of the video. For Union, the work was simply true to life.

Asked by a fan about the controversial video, the actress opened up about her own abusive past, and the stunning parallels with "Man Down."

The topic came up last week, when Union was soliciting ideas from her followers on how to better combat violence against women and kids.

When a fan asked what she thought of the Rihanna video, she said she hadn't seen it, but would comment when she had. Later, Union wrote:

"Saw 'Man Down' by @rihanna. Every victim/survivor of rape is unique, including how they THINK they'd like justice 2 be handed out."

"During my rape I tried 2 shoot my rapist, bt I missed. Over the yrs I realized tht killin my rapist would've added insult 2 injury."

"The DESIRE 2 kill someone whose abused/raped u is understandable, bt unless its self defense n the moment 2 save ur life."

"Just ADDS 2 ur troubles #mandown."

While Union has spoken before about her rape at age 19 - and has admirably become a powerful advocate for the government's support of rape crisis centers - she had not revealed that she tried to shoot her attacker.

Her recent disclosure, in addition to resulting in tweets of support for Union, also inevitably yielded more questions for the actress, who calmly laid out the facts of her own traumatizing assault.

"Stranger who robbed the store I worked at," she said, identifying her rapist. "He put his gun dwn durin the rape & asked me 2 [hand] it 2 him."

Union went on to credit Rihanna's video with not only getting her talking about her ordeal, but by raising the debate among many others.

"#Mandown video did a GREAT job of getting the ENTIRE world TALKING abt RAPE," she tweeted. "I hope tht it leads 2 HEALING & PREVENTS RAPE."

Doesn't sound like a bad role model to us.

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Rihanna Biography

Rihanna in England
Rihanna is a young, hot and successful R&B singer who hails from the Caribbean island of Barbados. She is an artist signed to Def Jam... More »
Saint Michael, Barbados
Full Name
Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Rihanna Quotes

I get asked about it all the time and I’m like, You’re asking, but you know the answer. I don’t even like to address it anymore.

Rihanna [on rumors that she dated Jay-Z]

Sometimes you just need your privacy. But it comes with the territory. There's no privacy when you are out in the public.