Grammy night began and ended with an unfortunate news story: After being sought by police in connection with an alleged domestic assault, Chris Brown has been charged with one count of making felony criminal threats and released from custody on $50,000 bail. The 19-year-old singer was accused of being involved in an altercation with a female victim around 12:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Police were summoned to an area near Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood following reports of a violent domestic dispute that escalated when the two parties involved exited their vehicle. While authorities have refused to identify the victim — who reportedly suffered visible wounds — sources tell Rolling Stone that as suspected, she is Brown’s girlfriend Rihanna. Both stars pulled out of tonight’s Grammy ceremony early Sunday afternoon.
Brown turned himself into police at Los Angeles’ Wilshire station shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday night. Both he and Rihanna were scheduled to appear at the Grammy ceremony, where Rihanna was nominated for three awards and Brown for two. When he learned of the stars’ cancellations, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences president Neil Portnow told Rolling Stone, “Sure we were disappointed, but it’s live TV, you have to be prepared. We’re very nimble.” Justin Timberlake and Al Green helped fill in for Rihanna’s nixed performance.
The news sent shockwaves through the Staples Center as Grammy attendees slowly received word of Brown’s arrest. When asked if this incident sounds like Chris Brown to him, rapper David Banner told RS, “No, not at all. One situation doesn’t define a man and I really want American to stop doing that to people. As humans, none of us is perfect.”
Rihanna and Brown attended Saturday night’s Clive Davis pre-Grammy bash together. The alleged incident happened shortly after the event ended. When reached for comment, Rihanna’s publicist issued the statement “Rihanna is well. Thank you for the care and support.”