Judge decides Chris Brown should stay under supervised probation
On Thursday, nearly three years to the day after Chris Brown was charged with assaulting then-girlfriend Rihanna, leaving her bloodied, bruised and unable to perform at the Grammys, a judge has decided that Brown should continue serving his five-year probation sentence.
Brown's attorney Mark Geragos asked that the Grammy-nominated R&B singer, who was not in court attendance, be allowed to end his supervised probation early, due to good behavior. But Superior Court Judge George Lomeli agreed with prosecutors that Brown should continue to report to a probation officer in his home state in Virginia.
His lawyer's request came after the singer received positive marks from his probation officer, who wrote in a report that Brown has been truthful with officers, passed all required drug tests and “has made great strides” while under probation supervision.
Though his continued probation isn't good news for Brown, he's had a remarkable career resurgence in the last year. “F.A.M.E.," his comeback record released in March last year, went directly to the top of the Billboard charts in its first week and has spawned several hits, including the radio staple "Look At Me Now." Set to perform on Sunday, Brown is also nominated for three Grammys, including for R&B album.
Successes aside, Brown has also made several public mistakes. Last March while promoting his new album on "Good Morning America," the singer stormed out of the studios shortly after an interview where GMA anchor Robin Roberts asked him about his felony assault case and the legal issues still stemming from it. Brown deflected the questions, insisting they should focus on his new record instead, but later, after performing only one of his scheduled two songs, he went into his dressing room, screamed and reportedly smashed a window in the room.
A couple of days later, Brown formally apologized for his actions on BET's "106 & Park," stating he was "disappointed in the way I acted."
In December 2009, Brown completed a yearlong domestic violence program, as well as anger management classes. So far, he has completed half of the six months' worth of roadside cleanup, graffiti removal and other manual labor that he was ordered to do after pleading guilty to attacking Rihanna.
Last year, with Rihanna's approval, another judge eased a restraining order that had prohibited Brown and Rihanna from contacting each other or getting too close at music industry events. Nevertheless, speculation has abounded that the former couple have been communicating via their Twitter accounts, though a rep for Brown denies the two have reunited. Rihanna, with four nominations, including one for album of the year for "Loud," is also set to perform in a collaboration with Coldplay on Sunday.
The judge scheduled another progress hearing for Brown on July 10.
— Margaret Wappler
Photo: Chris Brown performs on NBC's "Today" show on July 15, 2011, in New York. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.