R&B singer-songwriter Ne-Yo said he has spoken to Rihanna following her alleged assault by boyfriend Chris Brown. Ne-Yo tells MTV that the "Umbrella" singer told him she was "fine" and he hopes to talk with Brown in the near future regarding the situation.
"I wanted to talk to them before I made a comment," Ne-Yo said. "I spoke to Rihanna. She says she's fine. She didn't go into detail about what happened. I understand it's a painful situation; I didn't push." Ne-Yo has ties to both artists, having helped helped co-write Rihanna's hits "Unfaithful," "Take A Bow" and their duet "Hate That I Love You," as well as Brown's "So Glad."
"I saw the picture," Ne-Yo said of the leaked photograph of a battered Rihanna. "That just really hurt me to my heart, man. Again, I still don't know what happened, 'cause I haven't had the opportunity to talk to Chris yet. But to take it to that level really hurt my heart. All I can say is, I'm praying for both of them. They're both in my prayers."
While Wrigley's Gum and numerous radio stations have been quick to part ways with Brown, Ne-Yo isn't as anxious to turn his back on an old friend. "I'm not going to crucify him. I'm not going to do that. That's still my homeboy at the end of the day," Ne-Yo said. "For it to go to that level was wrong. I won't say who was responsible. I won't pick no sides. I'm just saying it was wrong it had to happen like that, and I'm praying for the both of them."
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• Chris Brown Says He Is "Sorry and Saddened" Over Rihanna Incident in First Statement