Exactly one week after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend Rihanna in the early-morning hours before the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Chris Brown has broken his silence and issued a statement that says, “Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired.” Without ever mentioning Rihanna by name, or the exact nature of “what transpired,” the singer says he has been seeking counseling from his pastor, mother and loved ones. “I am committed, with God’s help, to emerging a better person,” he says.
Reuters reports that Brown’s five-sentence statement was issued with the help of a public relations company that specializes in crisis management. It’s the first official words released by either singer’s camp regarding the incident; on Sunday, February 8th, Rihanna’s rep issued the brief “Rihanna is well. Thank you for concern and support” but has said nothing publicly since then. Relatives of the two young have stars have, however, given interviews to the press; both Rihanna’s and Brown’s fathers have spoken to People. “At some point, she will speak out,” Ronald Fenty told People.com of Rihanna. “I hope she will stand up for women all over the world.” Clinton Brown described his son as “remorseful” and “concerned” in his interview.
In the absence of official statements from Brown, Rihanna and the Los Angeles Police Department, rumors and speculation over the alleged dispute — which reportedly left the 19-year-old Barbadian singer with “horrific” facial injuries and bite marks on her arms and hands — flooded the Internet in the week following the incident. Brown addressed that in his statement, adding, “Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or reported in the media is wrong. While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts to Facebook, on blogs or any place else. Those posts or writings under my name are frauds.”
Brown’s vague apology is the first step on a long journey toward rehabilitating his public image. Howard Bragman, a longtime crisis expert and the author of Where’s My Fifteen Minutes?, tells Rolling Stone, “What Chris Brown needs to do is have some sort of cathartic moment — whether that be anger management counseling or some sort of rehab,” followed by a revealing interview with a major figure like Oprah. His apology and remorse “has to be believable,” Bragman adds. “He has to fess up and own it.”
As Rolling Stone previously reported, a 911 call brought police to Los Angeles’ Hancock Park neighborhood at approximately 12:30 a.m. last Sunday, February 8th, where they found a couple engaged in a dispute; the female victim, who police sources told media outlets was Rihanna (she was never officially identified), suffered injuries and later sought treatment at an L.A. hospital. Brown turned himself in to police at Los Angeles’ Wilshire station shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday night with his attorney Mark Geragos and was released on $50,000 bail. He has yet to be officially charged with a crime, and will appear in court on March 5th should the D.A. bring battery or criminal-threats charges. Both stars pulled out of the Grammys, where they were set to perform and were up for five awards, combined. They were last seen together Saturday night shortly before the incident at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy bash at the Beverly Hilton.
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