After their highly-publicized domestic dispute, court trials, and eventual breakup... Chris Brown and Rihanna are -again- in the public eye... but are people still buying their story?!
In early February, the New York Daily News reported that Rihanna and Brown got into a heated argument and physical fight after she read a text message (read: booty call), sent to Brown and got upset. The situation involved the couple's car ride to Rihanna's home after a pre-Grammy party, in which there was an alleged exchange of words, punches and a 911 call to authorities claiming that Brown assaulted Rihanna; tmz.com leaked a horrific photo to the Internet, showing the songstress with visible injuries.
Tabloids continued to report on the story for the remainder of 2009, stating that Rihanna was cooperative with the investigation, while not being in contact with Brown.
In June, the Los Angeles Times reported that Brown (after pleading guilty to an assault charge), entered into a plea bargain with the courts in Los Angeles and avoided jail time by agreeing to spend 180 days performing community labor in his hometown of Virginia, he also agreed to domestic violence counseling; his community service started in September.
Additionally, Brown has to complete five years of supervised probation for the felony assault charge and is banned from contacting Rihanna; he must stay 50 yards away from her for the next five years, but if the pair are present at the same event, the distance will be reduced to 10 yards.
Earlier this month, both pop stars released eagerly awaited albums for their legions of loyal fans, Rihanna with Rated R, and Brown with Graffiti.
Using their music as a metaphor, both artists have seemingly addressed the issues of their domestic dispute. On his latest single "Crawl," Brown swoons, "Everybody says we're through... I hope you haven't said it too," while on her latest single "Hard" Rihanna triumphantly sings, "They can say whatever... No pain is forever," and that she's "Tougher than a lion." Yet in stark contrast to her being hard, Rihanna appears more emotional in her video for "Russian Roulette," a controversial pseudo-suicide taunt that shows her and a young man taking turns pointing a loaded gun to their head. Cecil Adams of straightdope.com, says that Russian roulette is a "particularly grim game of chicken in which you load a revolver with a single bullet, spin the cylinder, put the gun to your head, and pull the trigger," of which the final instruction is repeatedly echoed in Rihanna's eponymous song. The game of roulette (popularized by the 1978 film The Deer Hunter), presumably dates back to 1840, and in 'creative defense' of Rihanna's depiction of the game, "Russian Roulette" video director Anthony Mandler told MTV News that "the video is the perfect embodiment of the haunting ballad." He says, "I think that with this song and the meaning of this song and how loaded it all is, no pun intended, how much imagery and perhaps symbolism that is loaded in this song, the only way to do it was to do something that was visually challenging." Some of Rihanna's fans would beg to differ.
In the forthcoming issue of GQ magazine, Rihanna is interviewed and asked if she’d ever be friends with Brown again, she answers, “Mmm. Maybe in like ten years, you know? But it’s not something that I’m depending on. I’m not depending on his friendship.” And regarding any future relationships she says, “I can trust. I mean, I don’t like to stereotype; I believe everybody’s an individual. You can’t judge someone based on someone else’s actions. There are people in the world who will love you and people in the world who will hurt you, and there are people in the world who will do both.”
Not to be outdone, Brown (appearing on the cover of Vibe's forthcoming relaunch issue for 2010), is interviewed and quoted as saying, "I feel like from this day on anything I do will be criticized or blown out of proportion. I can yell across the street, 'Ayo, get me that McDonald’s,' and that comes out like Chris is angry. But I’m still going to live my life. I’m still going to smile. That’s just my personality." But when discussing what he hopes fans will take away most from the whole ordeal, Brown says, "At the end of the day, it’s all about love, loving one another and respecting everybody. It’s also about learning from differences."
Court's adjourned, you be the judge.
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