Right now, the latest on Chris Brown is that he was booked for making criminal threats, not domestic abuse. The reason?
Law enforcement sources tell TMZ that they try and book a suspect for the most serious crime they can be charged with. While domestic abuse is punishable by up to four years in prison, a suspect found guilty of making criminal threats will do up to nine years. Of course, it's up to the D.A. to file any additional charges. (And a jury must find him guilty.) In addition, the breaking news is that Chris Brown may have used a "deadly weapon" in the assault.
This high-profile situation raises so many questions:
- Will Rihanna break up with him? You might think think that a 911 call and a trip to the hospital would immediately mean that a relationship is over. But Diane Lane's husband, Josh Brolin, was arrested for spousal battery in 2004. She declined to press charges, however, and they remain married. And plenty of women, all over the world, stay in physically or emotionally abusive relationships.
- Will Chris Brown's career suffer? The singer has a deal with Wrigley's gum and has been pursuing acting; he was in StompThe Yard and on an episode of the The O.C and was supposed to star in a basketball film called Phenom. Do people support a man who hits women? Miles Davis sold a lot of albums. Axl Rose was accused of abuse by both Stephanie Seymour and ex-wife Erin Everly.
- What if Rihanna doesn't break up with Chris Brown? What would happen to her? Her well-being, her carefully-managed image via Jay-Z and the people at Def Jam; her ads for Gucci and CoverGirl cosmetics? Rihanna — and her management — were always reluctant to admit that the star was dating Chris Brown; how will they handle commenting on this incident to the public, should she choose to stay with him? Or will they "encourage" her to stop seeing him?
One thing is clear: Whether or not he is found guilty, Chris Brown has some issues he needs to deal with. In 2007, he talked to Giant magazine about his abusive stepfather:
Like the day an 11-year-old Brown made a promise to his mother. He vowed that he would go to jail by age 15 for killing his abusive stepfather. "I just want you to know that I love you," he told her. "But I'm gonna take a baseball bat one day while you at work, and I'm gonna kill him." Brown's parents had separated when he was seven. When his mother remarried, she moved her son and his new stepfather to a trailer park. Then his stepfather shot himself in the head. The shot went straight through the eyes. He survived the suicide attempt but was permanently blinded.
"When you're blind, your senses are heightened, like your smell, hearing, your sense of touch," Brown explains. "You can move and maneuver around your sight. But he used to hit my mom….He made me terrified all the time, terrified like I had to pee on myself. I remember one night he made her nose bleed. I was crying and thinking, ‘I'm just gonna go crazy on him one day…' I hate him to this day."