UPDATE 6/22/09: Rihanna Content With Brown's Plea
Four months ago the whirlwhind romance of Rihanna and Chris Brown spiraled out of control after a heated argument between the lovebirds turned violent on February 8.
Today the couple's date in court was over before it began. The Def Jam pop princess and her former beau were like two ships passing in the night as he exited and Rihanna entered immediately afterwards to speak to the judge about the final details of the plea deal.
When asked if he and his client, Rihanna, were satisfied with the final verdict Donald Etra's response was simple. "Yes, Rihanna thought it was a fair and just resolution to the case," Etra told ESSENCE.com. "She has no further court dates and she's going to get on with her career and life."—KNB
UPDATE 6/22/09: Chris Brown To Do Hard Labor
For the next 180 days, Brown will probably work harder than he ever has, collecting trash, pulling weeds and hosing down fire trucks eight hours a day for a total of 1,440 hours total in his Virginia hometown to fufill his community labor, according to CNN.com
Should he fail to violate his five-year probation, which entails court visits every three months, he could be living in prison for the next four years. As a convicted felon Brown can not own a gun, sit on a jury, subject to search and seizure without a search warrant, and he now has travel limitations.
Additionally, he must stay no less than 50 yards away from Rihanna unless they are under the same roof at public events then the mandated distance is 10 yards.—KNB
UPDATE 06/22/09: Chris Brown Takes Plea; Ends Saga
The much anticipated reunion of Chris Brown and Rihanna at his Los Angeles hearing was quickly diverted, and the lingering question of whether Chris Brown will go to jail for their February 8 encounter has been answered. Before Rihanna could take the stand, Brown took a plea deal for the domestic violence case. The 20-year-old pop star will spend the next five years on probabtion, along with enrolling in an anti-domestic violence program, completing 180 days of community service and having all travel approved by his probabtion officer.—CJ
After living under a high-powered microscope for the past four months, pop princess Rihanna will finally face the music and her estranged beau and alleged abuser Chris Brown today during a pretrial hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court. Brown's lawyer requested a delay but was denied by the California Supreme Court.
There have been reports that the 21-year-old Barbadian beauty was reluctant to take the stand against the 20-year-old R&B crooner who faces two felony charges of assault, but her attorney, Donald Etra, sets the record straight.
"No, she always understood from the very beginning that she would testify if she were called to do so," Etra tells ESSENCE.com in an exclusive interview. "So there was never any apprehension on her part whatsoever."
Although the "Umberlla" singer has not spoken publicly about the alleged physical altercation in Los Angeles, she appears to have weathered the hailstorm of media attention by staying on the scene and putting her best fashionable foot forward.
"I think the fact that she has returned to her normal life and career is extremely brave," says Etra. "She deserves a tremendous amount of credit and respect for that because it's not easy."
The pretrial hearing marks the second time that the estranged couple has shared the same public space since their alleged lovers-quarrel-gone-awry on February 8. The two were recently at Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Orlando, Florida, although, reportedly, neither acknowledged one another before sneaking off to two different private lounges.
Despite the media frenzy surrounding the case and Chris Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, trying to seize LAPD police records to uncover who leaked the photo of a bruised and battered Rihanna, Etra has not allowed the intrusiveness to deflect his strategy.
"Hollywood is used to the media, and I personally respect the media," Etra says. "My only strategy is what it has always been, and that is to advise my client to tell the truth."