06:34 AM EDT 12/20/2014
Robin Givens Cover
Originally posted 10/09/2009 01:55PM
Robin Givens was a rising star in the 1980s when her famous husband, Mike Tyson, abused her. So she can relate to what Rihanna is going through now.
"It is so difficult to balance celebrity, being young and having this huge responsibility," Givens, 44, told PEOPLE Thursday at Marshall's "Shop Til It Stops" event in New York City's Union Square to kick off Domestic Violence Awareness Month. "I was a baby. So I understand the pressure that Rihanna feels to speak out, especially when that camera is on you.”
Givens says Rihanna – who hasn't publicly commented on her abuse by singer Chris Brown – will find her way. "You do need time to figure your life out," Givens says. "I do feel that if she speaks out about it people will listen to her. But she is young and I can imagine the pain and the confusion she is going through."
Top 5 Most Voted Stories
Kim Kardashian Has Broken the Shoe Barrier With Her Rabbit Fur-Lined Heels
Mother Sues County After Son Dies in Second Drunk-Driving Accident
Airplane Brawl over Crying Baby Nearly Causes Emergency Landing
Kim Kardashian Loses 1.3 Million Followers in the Great Instagram Purge of 2014
Babysitter's Story of Masked Intruders Unravels as She's Charged in Strangulation Death of 5-Year-old
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!