While the police continue to be tight-lipped about the Chris Brown/Rihanna assault case and the two stars’ camps remain silent, sources close to the artists have been slowly revealing information about the Sunday morning incident and earlier problems in the singers’ relationship. A Rihanna confidant tells Us Weekly that the Barbadian singer had visible bruises on her neck in early December. “I asked is everything was OK with her and Chris,” the friend says. “She told me, ‘We broke up again.’ I didn’t pursue the issue further.”
Rolling Stone has tracked Rihanna and Brown’s movements in the days and hours leading up to the incident in a photo gallery of Grammy parties and galas the pair attended together. On Friday, both stars hit the Staples Center to rehearse their Grammy performances; Brown’s practice started late and ran from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A Grammy source says, “He came in with an enormous posse … Afterwards, he did look kind of cranky and sullen. He did not look approachable at all.”
Later that night, the pair arrived separately at Timbaland’s Friday night pre-Grammy bash, where Us reports the couple squabbled over infidelity. A source tells Us Brown accused Rihanna of having an affair with Timbaland; a friend of the producer responds that he and Rihanna and the producer only “saw each other for two seconds.” Both Rihanna and Timbaland performed at the event, and a source tells RS that while the couple spent a lot of time apart there, they stood together to watch Timbaland’s set. Us reports that after the party Brown was angered when his credit card didn’t work at a gas station and sped off in his rented Lamborghini at a high speed.
Saturday night, Brown and Rihanna attended Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala at the Beverly Hilton, where Whitney Houston performed. “They were so sweet together. It was really cute,” Keyshia Cole tells Us Weekly. So what went wrong between the party and the 12:30 a.m. 911 call? Since neither camp is talking, sources are speculating: one tells Us that Rihanna saw one of Brown’s ex-girlfriend’s numbers in his phone and flew into a rage that sparked the violent incident.
“Chris is a walking dead man. He messed with the wrong crew,” an artist close to Rihanna reportedly said backstage at the Grammys when word of her injuries spread. Career-wise, the unnamed musician might be right: Cleveland radio station WAKS 96.5 was the first to pull Brown out of rotation following the incident, Cleveland.com reports. As WASK is owned by Clear Channel, it’s likely the remainder of radio stations in the company’s large fleet will follow suit.