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It pains me to write this story. The level of detail disgraced rapper Chris Brown has recently gone into regarding the night he assaulted Rihanna in 2009 will actually make you feel unwell. As we wake up to news of another terror attack, this time in Barcelona, Spain, celebrity news post such a tragic event usually falls to the wayside to make way for what is truly important. While Brown’s admission is ill-timed, domestic violence is always an essential story to tell and this narrative shows it doesn’t discriminate even to those who seem untouchable (read: celebrities).
To recap: Eight years ago, Brown assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna in a Lamborghini the night prior to the Grammys. The picture of the latter – a busted lip, a black eye and bruising on her face – spread like cyber wildfire around the world. Now, in a new documentary, the 28-year-old With You singer has given context to the picture.
Brown had admittedly to being unfaithful with a work friend and Rihanna found out and “starts going off”. “She throws the phone, ‘I hate you!’, whatever, whatever, she starts hitting me, we’re in a little Lamborghini, you know she’s fighting me,” Brown says.
“Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating shit, but then I really hit her. With a closed fist, like I punched her, and it busted her lip, and when I saw it I was in shock, I was ‘fu*k, why did I hit her like that? So from there she’s…spitting blood in my face, it raised me even more. It’s a real fight in the car, and we driving in the street.”
The rapper then says that Rihanna grabbed his crotch while she was trying to get his phone off him. In retaliation he bit her “because I was trying to drive”. He then attempts to redeem his state of mind. “I’m just trying to resolve the situation, I’m not trying to fight any further, like I love her, I don’t want to hurt my girlfriend.”
According to Brown, Rihanna got out of the car and started to scream “Help, he’s trying to kill me!”. “I was like, ‘Stop, we gonna get in trouble’,” says Brown.
He was sentenced to five years probation, one year of domestic violence counselling and six months of community service.
The most disturbing part for me in Brown’s re-telling is he recounts his violent responses as a result of Rihanna’s actions; Every recount of a bite, a hit or a lip bust begins with “Rihanna did this”. It’s just not OK on so many levels.
If you’re interested, you can actually read the police report here. Be warned by the horrific accounts of headlocks, punches and threats of “I’m going to beat the sh*t out of you when we get home.”
The video for Brown’s new documentary has been deleted from his Facebook account but you can view it here.
If you or someone you know feels affected by this story, head to lifeline.org.au or free counselling is available through the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service 1800 737 732.