Chris Brown, Raz-B: What's the homophobic Twitter-fight back story?
Chris Brown and Raz-B got into it on Twitter on Wednesday, with the former B2K boy-band singer taking the first swing with a slam at Brown and Eric Benet about Rihanna and Halle Berry, respectively, and Brown fighting back with crude references to Raz-B and gay sex.
Brown, 21, has issued an apology, TMZ reported Thursday, saying that he loves all his fans, gay and straight, and that the spat "was an unfortunate lack in judgment sparked by public Twitter attacks from Raz B, who was bent on getting attention. Words cannot begin to express how sorry and frustrated I am over what transpired publicly on Twitter."
Now, Brown's assault on Rihanna has been splashed all over the mainstream, but what about Raz-B's back story? It is a years-long drama involving allegations of abuse and accusations of lying.
In 2007, the "Bump Bump Bump" singer (real name DeMario Thornton, 25) accused boy-band manager Chris Stokes, along with Marques Houston, the cousin of another B2K member, of molestation -- an allegation Stokes firmly denied. Raz-B recanted the story shortly thereafter, but since then he and his brother Ricardo "Ricky Romance" Thornton have said the retraction was forced and coerced, and have posted videos online with graphic details of the alleged abuse, including one in October that includes singer Quindon Tarver making similar allegations.
"I have recently stopped financially supporting both individuals along with assisting them with their criminal and legal matters," Stokes said in a statement in December 2007, "which leads me to believe they are resentful and looking to benefit financially from this."
While promoting his new album, "Follow My Lead," in November, Raz-B told the Madd Hatta Morning Show that he'd spoken to detectives and that there had "been some movement" on criminal charges, but cohost Nnete couldn't nail him down on anything more specific or about whether he would seek counseling for the alleged abuse or for rumored bipolar disorder. (Raz-B said he had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.)
As for Brown's apology, "I have learned over the past few years to not condone or represent acts of violence against anyone," he said Thursday. "Molestation and victims of such acts are not to be taken lightly; and for my comments I apologize -- from the bottom of my heart."
That against the backdrop of a source in the Chris Brown camp pointing out to TMZ that the veracity of Raz-B's molestation account has been suspect.
Also on Thursday morning, Raz wasn't quite as zen. After tweeting good morning to Rihanna, who did not respond, he posted (without addressing it directly to anyone): "And thats your history! you cant run from it! #WomanBeater!!!!! #WomanBeater!!!!! #WomanBeater!!!!! #WomanBeater!!!!now back to your ex."
Raz's benefit from taking the swing at Brown? He became a trending topic on Twitter, which means a lot of attention.
"I love all my new followers!" he tweeted. "God bless you! Thank you all for the support!!!!"
For the record, 11:35 a.m. Jan. 4: An earlier version of this post referred to Marques Houston as a former member of B2K. In fact, singer Houston is the cousin of former B2K member Jarell Damonte Houston, a.k.a. J-Boog. Thanks to commenter @TnLA for flagging the error.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photo: Chris Brown in Hollywood on Nov. 18, 2010. Credit: Valerie Macon / Getty Images