More than a week after Chris Brown’s arrest, his story remains in limbo. At press time, the LAPD was still investigating his alleged assault of a woman (reportedly his girlfriend, Rihanna), and Brown broke his silence with a statement released by crisis PR maven Mike Sitrick. Rihanna’s health and whereabouts remained shrouded in speculation and rumor. EW went looking for answers to some of the case’s biggest questions.
What does his statement mean?
”Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired,” Brown said in the Feb. 15 statement that did not mention Rihanna by name. (Reps for Brown declined comment for this story.) ”The press release is an apology without a specific admission,” Loyola Law School professor Laurie L. Levenson tells EW. ”He will not confirm what he did. Legally, it is a good move. He can look like he is taking the high road, but not get into more hot water.”
Have radio stations changed their tune?
Programmers’ reactions continue to vary. Cat Thomas of Las Vegas’ KLUC says he’s ”holding off” on playing Brown’s music, though calls about the incident have started to ebb. Over at Baltimore’s 92Q, Neke Howse has no plans to remove his songs from rotation: ”We’re going to talk about the issue of teen domestic violence [on the air]. But I don’t want anybody judging me, so I’m not going to judge him.”
How are antiviolence groups repsonding?
One of the first responses to Brown’s arrest came from the National Organization for Women, which addressed violence against women in a press release issued the day after the Grammys. ”It’s an opportunity to educate,” says NOW president Kim Gandy. ”Being rich and famous does not protect you from domestic violence.” Adds public-health activist Barbara Glickstein, ”There’s a lot of victim bashing on the blogs. When one in five teens report abuse in their romantic relationship, the message has to be strong. Every person, female and male, has the right to live free of violence.”
When will we hear from Rihanna?
Her label continues to decline comment, and online photos purporting to show her after the incident have been debunked as Photoshop fakes. So barring any surprises, don’t expect to hear from or see Rihanna in the foreseeable future. — With additional reporting by Jeremy Medina and Aly Semigran