The embrace came after RiRi won the Video of the Year award for her dance song We Found Love. (Brown also struck gold Thursday, capturing the Best Male Video award for Turn Up The Music.)
Watch the video on RadarOnline.com
The 'S&M' singer said of Brown (who's dating stunning model Karruche Tran) in a recent television interview, "I still love him" and that they're "very close friends."
As we previously reported, the mercurial Brown received five years of probation, community labor and one year of domestic-violence counseling in connection with his beating of the Umbrella singer.
While his career initially stumbled, he's recovered professionally since the incident, collecting a Grammy this year in addition to Thursday's honors.
On Twitter, opinions were divided about the romantic embrace, with some saying it's time to forgive Brown for the attack, while others bemoaned Rihanna's affections for her one-time attacker.
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For a complete list of winners at 2012 MTV VMAs, click here.