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March 10th, 2009
11:15 AM ET

Bad message in Rihanna case

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear our special panel on domestic abuse on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Jane Velez-Mitchell
HLN

Pop star Chris Brown has been charged with two felonies - including assault - in the Rihanna beating case. If convicted, Brown could face more than four years behind bars.

The charges stem from the early morning of February 8, when he and his girlfriend Rihanna reportedly got into a heated argument in his car hours before they were scheduled to appear at the Grammy's. What police say happened next shook the entertainment world.

A Los Angeles County affidavit says Brown gave Rihanna a vicious and continuous beating. He allegedly started by shoving Rihanna's head against the passenger window, then punched her in the face numerous times while still driving. The beating reportedly splattered blood on Rihanna's clothing and the car interior.

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soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Daun Alta Loma CA

    Rihanna needs to look at past abusers...all famous now, or famous because of their abusive behaviors...Scott Peterson, OJ Simpson, Bobby Brown...is Chris Brown headed in the same direction? Most likely...very sad, hope we don't read one day that Rihanna is mortally wounded at his hands. The best thing that could happen to her is for Brown to dump her or she dumps him. At least that would be considered "safe" Press at this point in time.

    March 10, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  2. Junior

    Like it has said before, Love is not suppose to hurt, and If it happens once, it will happen again. Anyone capable of having that much rage, and take out on a person that they "love", time to leave. In this case she has all teh love and support and access to leave. Unlike so many others in our country.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  3. Mackenzie Maxwell

    If the evidence is strong enough against Brown, he should go straight to jail, not pass go or collect $200. This should not be a case in which he gets off easily for being famous– that should never be the case. If men see that a man (but not a "real man") brutally attacked a woman, but endured no harsh consequences and got to stay with the woman, what will they think?

    Rhianna also has a place as a role model. Like it or not, she is in the public eye. If girls see that she stays with the man who attacked her, they may grow up to think that that is OK. If and when girls who look up to her get into a similar situation they may not walk away. This would be tragic.

    My sympathies are with Rhianna. It is a difficult situation that is made worse by the fame. My thoughts go out to her that she will find the courage to do what's right.

    March 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  4. christine rigodon

    hi i am eleven and i was wondering why does everyone has to gang up on CB i mean not only CB but every celeb. don't these people already have enough problems but on top of it paparazzi follows them around like personal stalkers .GIVE THEM A BREAK!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  5. ZORA

    Wow...are we that primal?! Bites, bruises, cuts etc... remind me why is this creep not behind bars and undergoing "Anger Management" therapy??? Why are we so forgiving when it comes to celeberties? This is extremely disturbing and what a message we are sending to our young fans...it's OK to be physicaly attacked and abused as long as they are famous? Chris Brown should be caged up like the animal that he is ... this just isn't how you show your LOVE now, is it !!!

    March 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  6. Pam

    She needs to leave him. She is fortunate that she has a huge amount of support to help her. There are women, all alone, who find the courage to leave. She has not excuse.

    He should go directly to jail. Perhaps if we show our young men that being a punk does not get you fame, just a ticket to jail, they might start to see that perhaps being a punk is not cool......

    March 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  7. joanna

    Mary – please explain why women can't leave this kind of situation. If you and other women like you could help us understand that, maybe some of this could stop, and maybe we would know how to get you away from these animals.

    Diane Beard – I was also hoping that someone as famous and financially stable as Rihanna would set an example to other women and walk away and denounce this unacceptable behavior, but I guess she's choosing to follow in Whitney's shoes a while longer.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  8. ally from Atlanta

    Everyone is being nosey!!! What's going on in your life? No one is perfect. You guy's didn't even talk about Hogans kid that almost killed his bestfriend. This much! When did we stop forgiving and try to heal. I am a fan of both of their and will continue to be. Just because they aren't living the way you want them to, everyone has something to say. They are kid's the relationship will end in a couple of years anyway! I've been there. Pushed out of a moving car. Beat on. It toke a year before I left. And the only reason I stayed was because I was homeless. If he was beating on her before this situation, I believe the "media" would have heard about it. If it was something that he picked up growing up, we would have seen more violent behavior in the past. Leave them alone and in the end they will both be stronger, wiser, and better fit to handle other situations. You live and you learn.

    March 10, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  9. Pat

    I attended the Grammy rehearsals this year and happened to walk in with them. They didn't seem like a "loving" couple. The biggest thing I noticed was after she finished her rehearsal and they were walking out that he just left her and stood on the stairs with his hands in his pockets acting very anxious – looking down – almost frustrated. I also mentioned to my daughter who was with me that something didn't look quite right between the two of them. I could just tell – more on his part, not hers – she was totally into being photographed with the "Make A Wish" people and he just seemed irritated and wanted out...no smiles, no support for her at all. His behavior was very suspect to me. When I heard about it just before the show started on Sunday, I was not surprised that something had gone awry with them....but SHOCKED that he could be so incredibly violent. I am so saddened that she has stayed the course with him. If she continues, we will be reading her obituary.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  10. Kisha

    Rihanna is not the villain for not leaving she is the victim. Her situation is no different than many others that happen everyday in toxic relationships. It is only because she is famous that everyone is making such a big deal. It is not fair to make this about her being a role model which in effect isolates her more and less likely to speak out if it happens again. Many people do not understand domestic violence. Perhaps we would all be better served if people used this as an opportunity to educate themselves on the issue of Domestic Violence or Volunteer ! Rather than focusing on the personal problems of celebrities.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  11. Jean-Pierre

    Being empathetic to the victim and perpetrator should be acknowledged. Perpetrator probably had issues with domestic violence with mother and father and only way for him to release that frustration is to remember what he learned when he was growing up. As for the victim, understanding that throwing away love and forgetting about it is extremely difficult and maybe encountered similar violence when growing up. Bottom line, perp and victim of domestic violence, there is a high correlation that they themselves have been apart or witnessed domestic violence.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  12. Larry

    At least Whitney finally saw the light with Bobby Brown.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  13. Diane Beard

    As a high school teacher, I come in contact with young ladies who endure this situation from boyfriends. They are reluctant to speak out about it. I was so hoping that Rhianna would use this horrific situation and turn it into a positive. I know she is hurting emotionally for someone she still loves (Brown) but that boy has anger in his eyes. This will happen again, maybe even fatal wounds next time, if she doesn't separate herself now while her support system is strong. This is such a shame–for every individual who experiences it. Not just because they are both famous.
    PS: Shame on the "FRIENDS" that hid them away so that they could have privacy.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  14. GF, Los Angeles

    Yes it is easy as that to walk away Mary – we all have the choice but many like Rihanna choose not to. I choose not to date abusive men. All it would take is for one hit for me to walk away. I've watched my aunt put up with a verbally and physically abusive husband and that is not how I want to be treated. I'm no one's punching bag.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  15. Marie

    Rihanna just look at the movie ENOUGH with Jennifer Lopez and then you will understand that these blogs are not about speaking out against you . It's about speaking OUT to YOU. I'm a mother , I've never faced any type of abuse and my heart goes out to you and anyone who ever was. Please think about every spoken word of advice given to you and the answers will come.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  16. Tracee

    I'm stunned that Rihanna could go back to someone who beat the crap out her. While I'm no psychologist, it seems that she must have a low self-esteem to think that the only man who could love her is someone who abuses her.

    Love means not being abused, physically or emotionally, which usually go along with each other. We've seen the results of the physical beating from Chris Brown; heaven knows the emotional abuse he's doled out.

    What a horrible and sad example for all women. The first instance of any abuse should be the trigger for the final goodbye.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  17. Mary

    It's a sad situation Rihanna is in. Having been in an abusive relationship in the past, it's difficult to just "walk away". I stayed with my ex husband for over 16 years until I finally realized my life would be better without him. People can say, she should just leave, but believe me, it's not as easy as that. Until you've walked in those shoes you don't understand the difficulty in walking away.

    March 10, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  18. Olga K. (Canada)

    Chris should serve time behind bars for what he did. Otherwise there is no deterrent for other abusers. Society should not condone this behavior. I happen to know of a situation where Chris attacked a friend's cousin in a hotel room while Rihanna was next door. I think he's out of control and needs time to chill out, preferably behind bars. The help he has had to date hasn't worked. Its only a matter of time before he totally loses it and does irreparable harm to someone!

    March 10, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  19. David-Las Vegas

    This is not the example I would want my daughter to follow.

    March 10, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  20. Lisa

    It's really horrific & aweful that Rihanna continues to stay with him, I really wish she'd take Oprah's message to heart, in that, if he hits you once, which we all know he's done previously, he will hit you again & again unti lhe kills you, unfortunately, she hasn't hit her "bottom" yet, I hope that they both get real councelling & doing it for themselves & are not just doing it as a publicity thing

    March 10, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  21. Cindy

    Seeing that this was not the first time that Chris had beaten Rihanna anything that any one says to her won't matter. She will stay with him until she has had enough. Let's just hope she sees the light before he kills her!

    It is setting a very bad example for kids. It's like saying that it is OK to be beaten if the abuser says he is sorry. They all say that and never truly are! But really it's up to the parents of these kids to tell them that being abused or abusing someone else is extremely wrong on both counts. The kids should not have to look at celebs for their guidance. That is the parents job.

    Cindy..Ga.

    March 10, 2009 at 11:28 am |