According to Chris Brown's probation report (see below) revealed in court at his criminal sentencing yesterday, the R&B figure had a history of domestic violence incidents with his former girlfriend Rihanna, even before he pummeled and threatened to kill her while driving a rented Lamborghini in residential area of Los Angeles while on their way to the Grammy Awards in February this year.
Judge Patricia Schnegg sentenced Brown yesterday to five years of probation after he pleaded guilty to one count of felony assault in June, fewer felony charges than those that were originally filed against him by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.
Brown's probation report confirms what the New York Daily News first reported in March this year: that the former couple had a physical altercation in Europe three months before the Grammy Awards-night incident, and another incident in Barbados in January 2009.
The probation report states that the incident in Europe was "a verbal dispute" where "[Rihanna] slapped [Brown]. He responded by shoving her into a wall."
That incident went unreported.
According to the probation officer, the second incident took place in Barbados where Brown and Rihanna:
"were driving a Range Rover loaned to them by a local dealership. They had an argument inside the car. The Defendant [Brown] exited and broke the front driver and passenger side windows of the car. No one was injured during the incident. The vehicle was repaired and the incident was not reported."
Letters submitted as character references to the Los Angeles County Probation Department portrayed Brown as:
- A "grounded, well-mannered, hard working young man...[and] good kid"
(RCA/Jive Chairman and CEO Barry Weiss);
- "A 'yes sir, no sir' type of guy...[whom] God has personally revealed to me that he is chosen for a special purpose for our society and around the world"
(Apostle Samuel Harris, Jr., Senior Pastor at the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ "House of Prayer")
- A "truly good person" and "a great kid" who "traveled to Africa with Oprah Winfrey to help the underprivileged children"...worked with Crest to tell "children about the need and importance of good dental hygiene...he was an incredible role model...who without any fanfare or publicity has helped the underprivileged children and the sick children confined to hospitals and orphanages...who had never previously been in trouble with the law...[whose] celebrity could be used positively to help other people"
(Kenneth R. Meiselas, an entertainment industry lawyer at Grubman Indursky & Shire, P.C. who has represented Brown)
Here is more on Brown's sentencing yesterday:
- Felony Complaint (California v. Chris Brown) (Mar. 5, 2009)
- Chris Brown sentenced in LA for assault, Reuters (Aug. 26, 2009)
- Chris Brown Being Sentenced Today in Rihanna Domestic Violence Case, FindLaw (Aug. 25, 2009)
- Rihanna & Chris Brown fight started over text message from other woman, New York Daily News (Feb. 11, 2009)
- Chris Brown and Rihanna: Their Past Fights Revealed, New York Daily News (Mar. 9, 2009)
- Domestic Violence: Background and History FindLaw
- Domestic Violence: Taking Action FAQ FindLaw
- State-Specific Domestic Violence Information FindLaw