The allegations against singer Chris Brown took an even more serious turn Monday (February 9) when TMZ reported that the victim in the case was the 19-year-old singer’s longtime girlfriend, Rihanna. Us Weekly has also reported that Rihanna was the victim.
Additionally, though police are not revealing the victim’s name because the alleged incident involves domestic violence, TMZ claimed the crime report was made in Rihanna’s birth name, Robyn Fenty.
Although TMZ initially reported that a deadly weapon was involved in the case, it later retracted that claim.
Brown and Rihanna were scheduled to perform at the Grammys separately on Sunday night, with each nominated for a handful of awards. Word emerged just before the broadcast that neither would be attending, along with news that Brown had turned himself in to Los Angeles police. Detectives investigating the felony battery charges booked the singer for criminal threats in the case and released him on $50,000 bail, saying that additional charges may be filed. A spokesperson for the LAPD said Monday morning that the department had no further information beyond the statements posted on the department’s Web site and would not confirm the TMZ reports or the alleged ID’ing of Rihanna as the victim.
Spokespeople for Rihanna and Brown could not be reached for comment at press time.
According to the LAPD, the 19-year-old R&B singer and an unidentified woman were in a vehicle in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles early Sunday when they began arguing. Police said the “woman suffered visible injuries and identified Brown as her attacker.” Officers said Brown was not present at the scene when they arrived.
In light of the alleged domestic-violence incident, a 2007 interview Brown did with Giant magazine, in which he said his mother had been physically abused by his stepfather, has resurfaced. “He used to hit my mom,” the singer told the magazine. “He made me terrified all the time, terrified like I had to pee on myself. I remember one night he made her nose bleed. I was crying and thinking, ‘I’m just gonna go crazy on him one day.’ … I hate him to this day.”
Brown also told the magazine he studied martial arts to defend himself and that after a fight with classmates in which he used his skills, he begged his mother not to go to the police. “Don’t go to no cops pressing no charges,” he reportedly told her. “Like, we don’t do that in the ‘hood.”
Emil Wilbekin, editor in chief of Giant, told MTV News on Monday that he was saddened by the news. “In the 2007 article, he talks about his abusive stepfather beating on his mother, and unfortunately, that type of behavior often becomes a pattern within families,” Wilbekin said. “It’s a little sad, because he is a role model for so many young men and has so many young female fans. It does send a really bad message.”