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No plea deal, yet, in Chris Brown-Rihanna case [Updated]

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Chris Brown's attorney met briefly with prosecutors and the judge this morning, but a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said the R&B singer's preliminary hearing will proceed as scheduled at 1:45 p.m.

Rumors of a plea deal have swirled as the proceeding, which could see alleged victim Rihanna testify, approached.

Brown faces nearly five years in prison if convicted of felony assault and criminal threats in the February incident in Hancock Park.

[Updated at 12:33 p.m.: More than a hundred reporters have converged on the courthouse in downtown Los Angeles in advance of the hearing.

Fifty-two media outlets had asked to attend the proceeding, far more than were on hand for Paris Hilton's return to jail, Britney Spears' divorce proceedings, the DUI cases of Lindsay Lohan and Nicole Richie or the murder trials of Robert Blake or Phil Spector. "I've never seen this kind of interest, and I've been here seven years," said court spokesman Allan Parachini.

Brown, 20, and his alleged victim, the 21-year-old pop princess Rihanna, who's real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, are superstars to the young demographic most interested in celebrity news. Their romance was tabloid fodder before his February arrest for allegedly beating and threatening the singer during an argument in a rented Lamborghini. The alleged altercation occurred as the couple drove home from a pre-Grammy party, and the news that Rihanna was injured and Brown was wanted by police surfaced the next day as scores of celebrity reporters awaited the couple's arrival on the red carpet.]

[Updated at 12:54 p.m.: The media has grown to about 200 people, many being photographers from tabloids and Hollywood photo agencies. Court clerks looked down from a second-story patio to get a look at the scene.]

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times

Related:

Chris Brown and Rihanna: a lesson for teens

LAPD probes Rihanna beating photo

Harvey Levin defends TMZ's use of leaked Rihanna pix

Brown beat, bit and threatened to kill Rihanna, prosecutors allege

 
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