Judge eases restraining order against singer Chris Brown
Two years after photos of battered pop singer Rihanna made headlines, a Los Angeles judge Tuesday downgraded a restraining order against then-boyfriend Chris Brown to a “do not annoy” order.
R&B singer Brown, who was nominated for two Grammys this year, sat silently while his lawyer Mark Geragos reminded Judge Patricia Schnegg that his client had successfully completed a court-mandated domestic violence education program in January.
Brown was sentenced to the 52-week program, along with five years’ probation and 180 hours community service after pleading guilty in August 2009 to felony assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna after a party.
Schnegg commended Brown on his progress but noted that she wanted input from Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, before making a final decision on whether to lift the restraining order.
“I have already indicated that I would not consider it until a representative of Ms. Fenty said that she did not object to it,” Schnegg said.
Rihanna was not present at the proceedings, but her lawyer, Donald Etra, indicated that his client had no objections to looser restrictions, which would allow Brown to e-mail, call or physically contact her.
“My client feels like that would be adequate protection,” Etra said.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Mary Murray said that Brown's presence would not be required at future court proceedings, but his lawyer still needs make periodic “progress reports.” The next one is scheduled for June 22.
-- Shan Li
Photo: R&B singer Chris Brown, right, appears in court with attorney Mark Geragos for a probation progress report hearing on Feb. 22, 2011 in Los Angeles. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images