Another chapter unfolds in the Chris Brown and Rihanna story, as the one-time R&B prince plead not guilty in court today and has to appear again before the judge. Get the latest on the story.
Chris Brown On Oprah's Lack of Support
UPDATE 10/23/09: Jive Records crooner Chris Brown spoke to Angie Martinez of New York radio station, Hot 97's about his disappointment in Oprah Winfrey for her lack of support following his assault of ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
"I don't dis her because I respect what she does for women around the world. But we did so many things together as far as me working for her schools in Africa, that I feel at the time I needed a helping hand, not for my career but as a person, instead of her pointing fingers," said Brown. "At the end of the day, you have opinions and thoughts, and that isn't wrong, but it's not right to judge someone when people make mistakes all the time. I learned from mine, I'm still learning and I regret every moment, every second."
Still he expressed his grattitude from support of Will Smith and Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. "As a young man I needed older black role models to mold me. I didn't need people bashing me or shutting the door on me," he said.
He also admitted that his counseling and domestic violence classes have helped him move forward, but refused to address questions about whether he and ex-girlfriend
Rihanna's relationship had a history of violence before the last incident. "No one knows what went on in that car, but out of respect of me and my privacy and her, I don't talk about it. Whether its reports or media or stuff that's been altered or falsified, I'm not justifying what went down. I still realize what I did is not ok in any way, shape or form."
Brown admits that he has been affected by all the media's criticism of him. "At the end of the day, people don't realize I'm human. I go home, hurt, cry, feel pain, embarrassment, ashamed." But promised to continue working on becoming a better person. "I smile, but people can't expect me to walk around everyday of my life frowning," he said. "Life is too short, I love my life and I love my fans and I love me. I'm sorry for what I've done, but the only person that can judge me is God." --KNB
Are Rihanna and Chris Brown Still Together?
The questions are swirling after singer Chris Brown was photographed leaving a tattoo Parlor in West Hollywood with Girlicious singer Natalie Meji on April 13. According to a report by Us Weekly, after seeing the photos, Rihanna texted the R & B singer, who, in return, replied "It's none of your business." Brown's rep has denied that he and Rihanna are dating, and told People Magazine that he was with "a woman named Dean," according to msnbc.com. However, in an April 13 statement made to Radaronline.com, Meji told the publication, "Things are going well between us. ... [Brown] has treated me like a gentleman at all times." Neither Brown nor Rihanna have confirmed a breakup. -LB
Rihanna Comes Out of Hiding
Fans have had enough Rihanna sightings partying at trendy night clubs and celebrating with grandparents in her native Barbados, but she'll soon come face to face with 25,000 people in Dubai. On May 28 the pop princess will perform at a venue still to be determined, making this her first professional appearance since the alleged physical altercation with Chris Brown. Rihanna was forced to postpone the Indonesia and Malaysian dates of her "Good Girl Gone Bad" tour in February because of the incident."—PSS
Rihanna's Dad: "I Want Chris Brown to Pay"
When it comes to Daddy's little girl, Robert Fenty has been more than vocal about his pop princess daughter Rihanna's alleged attack by boyfriend Chris Brown. After pleading not guilty, the "Kiss, Kiss" singer has Fenty asking facetiously "who done it?," according to Us Weekly.
"So what happened? Somebody else did this to Rihanna then...If he's not guilty, who did it? He should say ‘guilty' and let the court be leaning into him and try himself to the mercy of the court, see if he gets a fine... Now he's going to go beyond that and it could go longer, it can be even worse. It can be worse for him in the long run," said Fenty.
Despite Rihanna's alleged beatdown, Fenty remarkably hasn't totally condemned her abuser. "I just would like to see justice go in the right direction. I don't want his career to be damaged—it's damaged already...I think he's a talented guy, but everybody should have to pay. When you do the crime, you do the time. I don't want to see him locked up for a long time—I just want him to acknowledge and get some help."—KNB
Keep checking in with ESSENCE.com for all the details.
Chris Brown Has His Day in Court
R&B crooner Chris Brown entered a not guilty plea Monday in a Los Angeles court room. Looking serious and calm for his arraignment, regarding an alleged attack of his pop star girlfriend Rihanna, the star arrived with his mother and three body guards. While Brown, 19, pleaded not guilty as expected, it is not confirmed whether a plea deal is being worked out. In the courtroom, Brown, wearing all black, kept quiet as his attorney spoke for him. Brown only said "I understand" when the judge read the charges against him. He is charged with two felonies—assault and making criminal threats.
Brown has to return to court on April 29. Authorities said the singer bit and beat Rihanna last two months ago. The alleged beating happened just hours before the Grammy Awards. Recent reports claim the two have split and that friends have warned Rihanna that if she remained with Chris her career would be over. She spent the weekend in Barbados, as her grandparents celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary.
Chris Brown Dissed in Song
It’s not a good time to be Chris Brown. The Jive Records crooner is criticized in a new song that’s receiving playtime on national radio, according to MSNBC.com.
From New York to Los Angeles, radio listeners can tune in to hear lyrics such as “Chris Brown should get his a-- kicked,” from a new song by the up-and-coming rap group Smoke Jumpers. “I was really upset with the way a lot of celebrities and people were handling the situation,” said C. W. Griz, a member of the Jumpers. “Not enough people were speaking out against Chris Brown. What he did was a thousand percent wrong.”—QS
Have you heard the song yet? If so, let us know what you think!
Private Hearing for Chris Brown Nixed
Only four days before Chris Brown's lawyer, Mark Gregaros, was scheduled to have a private chamber meeting with the judge in regards to the R&B crooner's domestic violence case, it was cancelled without explanation.
There were whisperings that the private meeting was requested because Brown wanted to hire a new lawyer and management team, but the Jive Record's artist's mom dispelled those rumors with an official statement.
Brown, who reports back to court on April 6 for his arraignment for two felong charges--assult and making criminal threat.—following a pre-Grammys party on Feb. 8.—KNB
Splitsville?: Rihanna and Chris Brown Take a Break
Chris Brown and Rihanna's rocky love affair just might be history for good. Although Chrihanna has not officially called it quits, the pop prince and princess are taking time off from their controversial relationship, according to MSNBC.com.
A source reportedly told "US Weekly" that the duo was "taking a break" Seems like Rihanna's music mogul mentor weighed in on the decision. "Jay-Z told Rihanna she needs to cut things out with Chris, at least in public," the source added. Brown is said to be hiding out in Montpelier, Virginia., although he still seems to be conscious of his fashion. The Virginia native recently emerged to buy 14 baseball caps at a local Lids store.—BB
Chris Brown's Lawyer Requests a Private Meeting with Judge
Perhaps Chris Brown is feeling tremendous pressure to try and move on with his life after he allegedly assaulted girlfriend Rihanna in the wee hours of the morning on February 8.
Less than 24 hours after the R&B crooner withdrew his nomination for the Nickolodeon Kids' Choice Awards, Brown's lawyer, Mark Gregaros, has requested a "chamber" hearing on March 23, according to TMZ.com.
Despite only having two more weeks to go until his official arraigment, Gregaros's request comes more than a week following the postponement of Brown's March 5 arraignment to April 5.
According to Kenneth Montgomery, a lawyer and legal analyst for Court TV, this request could mean that Brown's attorney is digging for some additional information to help his client.
"He could be trying to go on a fishing expedition to find out what Rihanna's going to say," says Montgomery. "Or they might be trying to work out a plea. It could be a number of reasons, but based on California law, they don't need Rihanna's testimony to go forward. Generally, first-time domestic violence offenders don't do jail time."—KNB
Chris Brown Is Sticking With His Team
The mother of the "Kiss, Kiss" crooner has broken her silence to speak on behalf of her son regarding the latest rumor.
Allegations that Brown planned to kick his team of handlers—lawyer Mark Gregaros, managers Tina Davis and Mike Sitrick—to the curb is all a fabrication, according to a statement released by his momager, Joyce Hawkins.
“Reports that Chris is looking to replace his team, including Mark Geragos, Tina Davis and Mike Sitrick, are false. There are only two people who could make a change at that level on Chris’s behalf: his business attorney, Kenny Meiselas, and me—and neither of us were the source of this information. To the contrary, Kenny told the media outlet that broke this item that the information they had was false. So there is no room for doubt or misunderstanding, let me state unequivocally, that no change is planned or being made with respect to Mark Geragos, Tina Davis or Mike Sitrick. We are very pleased with the work they are doing.”
Brown, who postponed his March 5 arraignment to Apr. 6, was laying low until last weekend when he and girlfriend Rihanna allegedly reconciled and he was photographed jet skiing and hanging out at Diddy's mansion in Miami.—KNB
Chris Brown Makes Decision About Kids Show
Singer Chris Brown decided to take his name off the ballot at the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards on Wednesday, according to the Associated Press. Brown was nominated for favorite male singer and favorite song for "Kiss Kiss." The award show is set to be filmed at Nickelodeon Studios on March 28. Brown's representatives said in a statement that the R&B star would like to speak directly to his fans, but his criminal case won't allow him to do so at the present time.—JW
Father of Chris Brown's Manager Denies Relationship Rumors
It's become increasingly more difficult to keep up with the rumors surrounding Rihanna and Chris Brown's domestic violence incident.
The latest hearsay, which dates back to 2005 and has resurfaced, is that Chris Brown and his soon-to-be 40-year-old manager, Tina Davis, are allegedly secret lovers and have been since he was 16 years old. According to TMZ.com, the three-page text message from a former flame of Brown's that set Rihanna off was allegedly from Davis.
These allegations are disturbing because it would mean that this is more than some lovers' triangle but a twisted affair that the law would deem statutory rape. Davis, a former director of A&R for Def Jam Records, responded to TMZ.com's allegations via her lawyer with the following statement:
"The relationship between Ms. Davis and Mr. Brown is that of manager and client. There has never been any other relationship. The rumors in circulation are false. There are no e-mails between Ms. Davis and Mr. Brown of the type which have been described in media reports.
"If the source of the false rumors is identified, legal action will be taken. Given the nature of the legal issues affecting Mr. Brown, Ms. Davis will not be making any further statements."
Her father, George Davis, was the first to dispel the rumors about her alleged affair with the R&B crooner. "They were saying that before," Davis told E! News. "Those are old rumors.—KNB
Expert Advises Chris Brown to Sing His Troubles Away
If Chris Brown wants to clean up his tarnished image, he better change his tune quickly and start singing the blues, as some suggest.
According to a rehabilitation expert who spoke to the New York Daily News, Brown should pen a remorseful song about the violent altercation between him and Rihanna. "Come up with a soulful song about what happened," said Davia Temin, CEO of Temin and Co. "I would use my fame to say, ‘Look, we are all human and make terrible mistakes.'"
Charged with two felonies after he allegedly pummeled, bit and choked Rihanna following a lover's spat over a text message. "I'm going to beat the s--t out of you when we get home," Brown screamed, according to court documents. "You wait and see!"
Although Brown did not plea to the charges of assault and making criminal threats, the court of public opinion suggests he's guilty as charged. Still, Temin's fluke of a strategy not only insults the public's intelligence but suggests that fans would be duped and sympathetic to the 19-year-old, which is beyond most antiviolence advocates' belief-and Oprah's.
"Love doesn't hurt. It doesn't matter what his plea. He will hit you again," Oprah told her viewers during a taping of a recent show.
Considering reports that Rihanna has chosen to stick by her man, a "sorry" sing-a-along might resonate with their fans. Temin said the idea is to "embrace the thing that hurt you the most and turn it into something positive," she said—KNB
No More Private Conversations for Rihanna and Chris Brown
Rihanna and Chris Brown might have shared some private stolen moments during their alleged reunion at Diddy's Miami mansion, but their private conversations will be an open book.
The Criminal Protective Order, a court document used in domestic violence, reveals that if Rihanna chooses she has permission to record any conversations she has with Brown until March 2012. The documents state: "The protected person may record any prohibited communications made by the restrained person."
During Brown's court appearance the judge also warned him not to "harass, strike, threaten, assault (sexually or otherwise), follow, stalk, molest, destroy or damage personal or real property, disturb the peace, keep under surveillance, or block movements of the protected person named above (Robyn Fenty aka Rihanna)."—KNB
Rihanna Will Testify
There's no question that the highly publicized alleged assault involving Rihanna and Chris Brown has ignited heated debates across America regarding domestic violence, especially after reports that the couple reunited. Despite rumors that Rihanna wouldn't testify against Brown, the pop princess's attorney, Donald Etra, says she'll take the stand, according to MTV News.
"At this point, she is willing to do anything that the law requires her to do... If subpoenaed, she will testify."
Rihanna fans and antiviolence protestors alike have been vocal about their disappointment in the possibility of the pair's reconciliation and the "Umbrella" singer's rumored reluctancy to testify against Brown after their brutal lover's quarrel left the pop princess badly bruised.
Rihanna's testimony could make or break the case for the prosecutor. Following his court appearance on March 5, Brown's arraignment was postponed until April 6 following his two-count felony charge of assault and making criminal threats. The "Forever" crooner has not yet taken a plea deal and Rihanna has not requested a no-contact order, which would prohibit Brown to communicate with her indefinitely.--KNB
Fans Urge Rihanna to Dump Chris Brown
Rihanna's family isn't the only one in an uproar about her alleged decision to kiss and makeup with Chris Brown. The pop star's loyalists have implored the island beauty to end her relationship with the 19-year-old crooner, through a virtual peitition entitled "Don't Do It Rihanna."
Hosted by petitiononline.com, the "Don't Do It Rihanna" virtual protest was launched on Monday by 93.3 WFLZ in Tampa, Florida after reports that she and Brown had reunited nearly a month following their alleged altercation. The radio station program director Tommy Chuck says the stations call to action was communal. " We started the online petition because the majority of our listeners don't believe Rihanna should get back with Chris," says Chuck, 28. "We've been monitoring it daily and the word has spread round the internet and has received an overwhelming response. That means we aren't the only ones who feel this way."
To date the site has amassed a total of 3,567.—and counting.—anti-violence signees. Its personal message to the Barbadian songstress doesn't beat around the bush:
It has been reported by People Magazine that Rihanna and Chris Brown have gotten back together, even after Brown allegedly beat Rihanna in February. We the undersigned feel that Chris Brown should not be given another chance, and that Rihanna should move on from this relationship.
But don't expect Rihanna fans to mince their words or downplay their displeasure regarding the situation and Brown's violent behavior. Comments range from encouraging Rihanna to "have more confidence " to a plea for an immediate intervention "will the adults in Rihanna's life please step forward and protect her?"
According to the L.A.P.D.'s detective's affidavit, Brown pummeled, bit and headlocked Rihanna after they began arguing about a text message he received from a former flame. On March 5, Brown appeared in court and was charged with two felony counts--assault and making criminal threats. Brown was granted a postponement of his arraignment for April 6th and did not cop a plea. While Rihanna has not request eda no-contact order against him.
As the rest of the world awaits the final outcome, Def Jam's leading lady's devotees are hoping she'll be empowered to help break the cycle of violence against women by setting an positive example for battered girls and women everywhere and leaving Brown for good.
"I saw my own mother suffer at the violent hands of my father," writes Sarah, the 2,921 signee. "The screams, the blood, the scars were not only with my mother those nights but ours, her children. Take courage and walk on Rhiana."—K.N.B.
No Plea for Brown
Photographers, reporters and fans hovered outside the Superior Court anxious to catch a glimpse of Brown as he arrived for his brief arraignment in the alleged beating of his girlfriend Rihanna on Feb. 8.
After facing charges of two felony charges of assault and making criminal threats, Brown did not enter a plea. However, his lawyer, Mark Geragos, asked for and was granted a new arraignment date of April 6th by judge Kristi Lousteau, according to CNN.com.
The 19-year-old R&B crooner signed a waiver of presence, which allows his lawyer to represent him during any minor court proceedings scheduled before his new arraignment date so that he doesn't have to attend.
Reports that the Brown and Rihanna have reunited nearly a month after the alleged assault might explain why she has not had her lawyer, Donald Etra, ask for a "no-contact order," which would forbid the "Forever" singer to communicate with her via phone, writing or a third party. But the Lousteau issued a warning to Brown: "not to annoym, harrass, molest, threaten or use force or violence against anyone.—K.N.B.
Rihanna's Family Speaks Out on Brown Charges After learning of Chris Brown's ftwo felony charges--assault and making criminal threats--an unidentified relative of the pop princess shared their unadulterated opinion about the Jive Records singer. "He should be in jail," the relative told People. "He deserves whatever he gets."
Rihanna's father, Ronald Fenty, expressed his disappointment. "I was annoyed. I never hit my daughter," he says. "Why should he hit her? Why would any one do that? I was crazy, but I don't know the situation and I wasn't there."
Rihanna, 21, and Brown,19 have allegedly reunited since the assault against her family's wishes. "No one wants them back together," the relative told PEOPLE on Monday. "I don't ever want her to go through this again." .—K.N.B.
Chris Brown Charged in Case
LOS ANGELES—R&B singer Chris Brown was charged by the District Attorney's office today with felony counts of assault and making criminal threats in connection with a February incident in which his girlfriend was allegedly physically attacked.
Here's a statement from the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office: Case No. BA 353571, filed by the District Attorney's Family Violence Division, charged Brown, 19 (dob 5-5-1989), with one count each of assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and making criminal threats. The complaint alleged the crimes occurred "on or between" Feb. 7 and Feb. 8, when the defendant and the victim, identified only as Robyn F., were driving to a residence in the Hancock Park area.
Brown is scheduled to appear for arraignment after 3:30 P.M. today in Department 30 of Los Angeles Superior Court, fifth floor, Criminal Justice Center, 210 W. Temple St. He has been free on $50,000 bail since his arrest on Feb. 8 by Los Angeles police.
The case will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Mary Murray of the Family Violence Division.
Rihanna and Chris Brown: Did She Do the Right Thing?
In less than a month after a highly publicized alleged physical altercation, Chris Brown and Rihanna are rumored to have reunited.The couple's celebrity has sparked heated debates throughout the blogosphere, but little has been said about the nameless women who are victims of abuse every 15 seconds (and every quarter of a minute following) who don't have the luxury of a public forum.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice survey, nearly two out of three female victims of violence either knew or were related to their attacker. Often times, it is the woman who's criticized in incidents of abuse.
"What's interesting about Chris Brown and Rihanna is that women are being beat down every day, but because the public is familiar with Rihanna, we care about her [plight]" says Ted Bunch, cofounder of A Call to Men, a New York-based nonprofit organization committed to stopping violence against women. "The number one reason for women's emergency room visits are due to violence committed against them by men. In the African-American community, one out of four women have violence committed against them, and in America, one out of six."
While Chris Brown has not been charged in this particular case, many Americans found themselves picking sides. Now, with Rihanna allegedly reuniting with Chris Brown, a new debate is brewing. Should she have taken more time before making her decision? What advice would you offer her? Join the discussion—Kenya N. Byrd
Rihanna and Chris Brown Back Together?
It's been a whirlwind of verified details and uncontrollable gossip since we first heard of the Chris Brown/Rihanna domestic abuse fiasco, and the story only continues to "pon de replay." Now, approximately 4 weeks since the ordeal occurred, it has been reported that the two are rather friendly and intimate.
We've all heard that there was a possibility that Brown and Rihanna were exchanging text messages and even phone calls, but the latest buzz surrounding Chris Brown and Rihanna suggests that they are working things out face-to-face at Sean "Diddy" Combs's South Beach mansion in Miami. A source tells People.com that the two are "definitely together" and are also sharing their time with close friends. Though it has been said that the two are spending a lot of time indoors together, Brown was seen jet-skiing with buddies nearby.
This private "get-together" may seem like a shocker for some, but are you surprised they decided to give love another try? Do you think Rihanna should have taken more time for herself? Or is it better that they work things out diligently? Tell us what YOU think.—Porsche Slocum
Rihanna Thanks Fans for Their Support
Rihanna broke her silence on the alleged incident involving her and Chris Brown with a statement released on Friday, February 20, her 21st birthday.
"At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown," says the statement from her representative. "She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."
The statement comes one day after TMZ published a photo, apparently showing the singer's injuries, on its Web site.—KNB
Rhanna's Father Says Leaked Photo Is Good and Bad
The father of pop princess Rihanna, Robert Fenty, has been quite vocal about his thoughts regarding the alleged assault on his daughter by her former beau, R&B singer Chris Brown. Recently, he shared his opinion about the release of the photos by TMZ.com which show a bruised Rihanna, expressing that the disturbing image will allow folks to gain better insight into the incident, according to Us Weekly.
"It's good and it's bad to see the picture because there's other people who were thinking differently, that [Rihanna's injuries] may not be that bad, just a little spank or a little thing," said Fenty. "It's terrible."
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Department launched an investigation to uncover who leaked the photo, which is a violation of the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence. "A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination," the LAPD said in a statement.
Despite the extensive media coverage of such a personal matter, Rihanna's close friends took out a birthday greeting in the local Barbados newspaper to celebrate her 21st birthday today, February 20, which reads:
"Happy 21 Birthday to Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
Amidst all the negativity about Ri Ri.
God will continue to bless her.
That's why you are so great, Ri Ri.
From Sharon, Shane, Kim and Rashane.
We love you."
Jay-Z Asks Media to Show Sensitivity Toward Rihanna
During this past weekend's NBA All-Star Game festivities in Phoenix, reporters questioned hip-hop mogul and former Def Jam president Jay-Z about the alleged assault involving his protégé , pop princess Rihanna, and her R&B crooner beau, Chris Brown, which resulted in both artists canceling their Grammy Award performances on February 8. The Brooklyn-bred lyricist and entrepreneur implored the media to handle their coverage of the alleged domestic violence incident with kid gloves.
"It's not a sound bite. This is a real situation," Jay-Z told reporters. "If you can't have compassion for others, just imagine it being your sister or your mom or someone like that. Then think about how you should talk about that."
Brown's biological father, Clinton Brown, a 44-year-old correction officer from Tappahannock, Virginia, has said that his son is also about Rihanna's well-being. "He's reflecting on this situation," Brown told People. "He's very remorseful. He's very concerned about the situation and he wants to make sure that (Rihanna's) okay. This is unfortunate - this stumble, this situation. Hopefully, he will get past it. We all have our shortcomings. We all trip.—KNB
Chris Brown Expresses His Remorse
One week after an alleged lovers' quarrel gone awry between R&B's hottest young couple, Rihanna and Chris Brown, the 19-year-old Jive Records crooner has released a statement expressing his remorse about his alleged assault against the Bajan pop princess.
"Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person. Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong. While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts to Facebook, on blogs or any place else. Those posts or writing under my name are frauds."
The media has been abuzz about the alleged assault, but Brown's biological father, Clinton Brown, 44, also told People that his son is "remorseful" and "a loveable young man."
Since the alleged incident, which occurred on the day of the Grammy awards, resulting in canceled performances by Brown and Rihanna, the "Forever" singer has received significant backlash including the loss of his Wrigley's Gum endorsement and having his music removed from playlists on several radio stations across the country. "This music industry is very unforgiving when it comes to having indiscretions," his father said. "He will continue to be a good person. He loves people. And like most of us, most humans, things will occur. And hopefully a person won't be judged simply on that alone."
Brown turned himself in to police on February 12 and was released on $50,000 bail. He remains under police investigation and is scheduled to return to court on March 5.—KNB
Why Domestic Violence Is Bigger Than Chris and Rihanna
Ted Bunch, cofounder of A Call to Men, a New York-based nonprofit organization committed to stopping violence against women, shares his insight with ESSENCE.com.
ESSENCE.COM : There has been a lot of buzz about the alleged assault on Rihanna by her boyfriend Chris Brown. What are your thoughts on the case?
TED BUNCH: If Chris Brown did this—and it is only alleged—his behavior would not be unusual. The number one reason for women's emergency room visits are due to violence committed against them by men. In the African-American community, one out of four women have violence committed against them, and in America, one out of six.
ESSENCE.COM : Do you think that this will help shed light on the alarming statistics?
BUNCH: What's interesting about Chris Brown and Rihanna is that women are being beat down every day, but because the public is familiar with Rihanna, we care about her [plight]. The positive thing about such a horrible situation like this is that there it is helping promote more public dialogue about men who batter women.
ESSENCE.COM : So do you think that men who abuse learn this behavior? Is it possible to learn not to be an abuser?
BUNCH: Absolutely to both questions, but abusive behavior can also be unlearned. The thing is that what's clear about abusive men is that they choose when they are going to be abusive, which means even if a woman assaults you first, you have the power to walk away. If abusive men get mad at their boss or their record label or the police, they don't strike. However, in their relationships with women, these men are taught socially that women are less valued than they are and view women as their property and have a sense of entitlement. Abusive behavior is a manifestation of sexism and domestic violence is just how it plays out in the relationship. The only thing that will help solve domestic violence is a cultural shift. Domestic violence is not an individual ill but a social ill. Men have to start addressing how we teach our boys. We have to teach our boys and men that girls and women are valued. The seeds need to be planted so that there is a movement.—KNB
For more info on A Call To Man, visit www.acalltoman.org.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith Support Chris Brown and Rihanna
Hollywood power couple Will and Jada Pinknett Smith are supporting Rihanna and Chris Brown, but Will asks others not to rush judgments on either until the full story is revealed, according to ExtraTV.com. During Thursday night's NAACP Image Awards, Smith said, "People should take a minute before they jump on it and judge. We don't know nothing." He continued: "If there are mistakes people make, then they should be willing to live up to the mistakes and do whatever penance they need to do. I don't think it's up to us, specifically the media, with such a fast hand, to try to chop someone's head off."
Smith said he and his wife "reached out to both of them and if it's help they need, then let's get it right." On the assaults allegations surrounding Brown and Rihanna, Will commented, "This is a time where they need to be left alone and if they have things they need to work out, work it out."—CM
Cleveland Radio Personality Bans Brown's Music
Chris Brown continues to receive major backlash from his alleged assault on girlfriend and pop princess Rihanna. Java Joel, an evening radio personality on 96.5 WAKS-FM, a Cleveland-based radio station, was one of the first disc jockeys to stop spinning Brown's chart-topping hits.
"It felt like the right thing to do," the 34-year-old disc jockey tells ESSENCE.com. "People are offended by Michael Phelps smoking pot, Christian Bale having a temper tantrum, but I'm offened that Chris Brown allegedly beat a woman and it shouldn't go unpunished."
Joel, who has been on the air for two years, admits that he was not particularly a fan of Brown's music, one of his evening program's premier artists. However, he assures it had no bearing on his final decision to remove it from his playlist. And his listeners varied in their opinions about the Brown/Rihanna debacle. "People were calling up asking me why didn't I pull music from T.I. or Lil Wayne, but I'm not offended by what people do that affect themselves, and while I believe a man is innocent until proven guilty, I felt [strongly that Chris Brown's] music should be taken off my show for the time being and I'm happy other radio stations are following suit."—KNB
Radio Station Pulls Chris Brown's Music From Playlist
The fallout from Chris Brown's alleged assault against Rihanna is just beginning as the R&B singer has lost his campaign deals with Wrigley. In addition, the singer's Got Milk? ad campaign is conveniently scheduled to end later this week, according to the company's reps. Now, several radio stations are pulling his music from their playlists, including Indianapolis's RadioNOW 100.9 (WNOU-FM).
ESSENCE.com spoke to Tim Rainey, RadioNOW's director of programming, who says it was his listeners who made the decision to suspend Brown's music. "We asked our listeners to voice their opinions if we should continue playing Chris Brown's music or refrain until his legal matter was resolved," says Rainey. "Just over 50 percent of our audience said it would be in good taste to hold off on playing his music until everything is 100 percent clear. We have a promo running on the air explaining our position and referring victims of domestic abuse and battery to call the local Indianapolis Helpline for help."
RadioNOW 100.9, a Radio One network affiliate, is not the only station that's taken a stand against playing Brown's music, which includes recent hits "Forever" and "Take You Down." Stations in Cleveland (96.5 WAKS-FM), southwest Florida (B103.9) and Pittsburgh (96.1 KISS-FM) have also taken his music off the air.
This is the first time RadioNOW has removed an artist from their rotation, but according to Rainey, it might not be the last. "If any other artist on our playlist was involved in such an event, we would re-evaluate our position with their music also." —CM
Rihanna Cancels Second Show Due to Altercation
Rihanna has canceled her second overseas concert, this one in Jakarta, according to the BBC. She had previously cancelled a show in Malaysia.
Rihanna 'Cooperating' With Police on Case Against Chris Brown
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Rihanna is "cooperating" with police on building a domestic violence case against Chris Brown, who allegedly assaulted her early Sunday morning. ESSENCE.com has learned from a source close to the investigation that Rihanna had excessive bruises on her face and that her eyes were severely swollen, but contrary to some reports, she did not have a broken jaw.—CM
Chris Brown Turns Himself Into L.A. Authorities
Brown turned himself into police custody on Sunday evening, hours before he was to perform at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. He's been released on $50,000 bail. Brown, who is to be arraigned on March 5, has pulled out of a scheduled appearance at this weekend's NBA All-Star Weekend.—CM
Rihanna Suffers Injuries in Alleged Fight With Chris Brown
Rihanna suffered bruises on her face and body, including a split lip and bite marks on her fingers and arms, after an alleged altercation with crooner beau Chris Brown early Sunday morning, according to TMZ.com.
Brown's alleged actions have cost him his lucrative endorsement with Wrigley's Gum.
Rihanna has canceled her upcoming New York City birthday bash as well as a scheduled concert in Malaysia until further notice.—KNB