Television cameras won’t be present in the courthouse when Rihanna takes the witness stand at a preliminary hearing for Chris Brown’s assault trial on June 22nd, CNN reports. A court spokesperson said yesterday that Los Angeles Criminal Court Judge Patricia Schnegg opted to deny media requests to allow cameras into the courtroom for Rihanna’s testimony. No explanation was given for the ruling. A sketch artist will be allowed to draw the hearing, however.
After failing numerous times to postpone Monday’s hearing to avoid having Rihanna air potentially damaging details regarding the February 8th incident, Chris Brown’s legal team, led by lawyer Mark Geragos, will reportedly seek a plea agreement by next Monday to prevent Rihanna’s testimony. Rihanna’s lawyer Donald Etra previously said he cleared out his client’s calendar for this month to ensure that the “Umbrella” singer would be able to cooperate with the prosecution. “She will definitely comply with the subpoena and any court order,” Etra said.
Brown was charged with two felony counts of assault and making criminal threats following the alleged February 8th altercation, which occurred the night before the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, an event both artists were forced to miss. At the time, Rihanna told police that Brown punched and bit her — a claim that appeared to be backed up by the photo of a battered Rihanna that leaked to TMZ — after she argued with him about text messages from another woman. Brown pleaded not guilty to both charges. If convicted, Brown faces a sentence ranging from probation to four years and eight months in jail.