July 21st, 2009
05:04 PM ET

Chris Brown: A victim?

One hundred and sixty three days. That’s how long it took Chris Brown to publicly apologize for beating his girlfriend Rihanna. In the dramatic video, Brown asks for forgiveness and promises to be a better role model. As someone who normally sees things as pretty cut and dry, I can’t decide where I stand on this one.

On the one hand, Brown needed to wait before he could speak out. Legally it would have been foolish- and perhaps dangerous- for him to make a move before things were settled.  If he had said anything right after his plea deal, it would have been in poor taste. I am sure that he had planned to release this video a little sooner but with all of the media coverage surrounding Michael Jackson’s death I assume he held off for a bit.

The statement itself was a brilliantly crafted work of art, designed I am sure by a team of PR experts. Brown read it beautifully- I imagine off of a teleprompter- and made every point he was aiming to make. All in all, from a PR standpoint, it was a slam-dunk.

If this was just about a guy who hit a girl and then put out a well crafted statement I would be blasting him and that would be that. But there is a bigger story here- Chris Brown is also a victim. He came from a home where there was domestic abuse and now the cycle continues. I have a hard time making him a one dimensional monster because it is more complex than that. I do believe that violence is never the answer- EVER. I don’t care who is abusing, the man or the woman; it is never ok. The problem is that once that cycle starts, it is hard to stop.

What do you guys think? Is Chris Brown a victim too?

Be sure to watch Showbiz Tonight for much more on Chris Brown’s emotional apology, tonight, at 11pm ET/PT on HLN- don’t miss it!

soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. John

    He's "just a 19-year-old"? He "only needs to apologize to Rihianna and God"? "He is victim, too"? Are these the sort of things all of you defenders of this near-murderer might say about the guy who one day might do this to your own daughter? Let "bygones be bygones"? Really? And my favorite, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." I have never ever struck a woman, much less continuously struck, kicked and BITTEN one, so I feel absolutely at peace casting my stone (or ten) at this monstrous little coward.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Steve

    How many men has he beat on? Right- none. He's a coward and a wimp. The only reason he appologized is because his career is suffering and he is trying to save it. He hit a woman- there is NOTHING she could have done or said that would make it ok for him to have beat her black and blue, nothing! He needs to just go away. A man who beat his girlfriend that wasn't a celeb would be in jail.

    July 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ms Dez

    It amazes me how many African-American girls have rushed to Brown's defense and have nothing but animosity for Rhianna. This scares me more than anything else about this case. Is it jealousy? Self hatred? Brainwashing by hip-hop's women-as-possessions-and-status mentality? I don't know, but someone I'd appreciate it if someone would please explain it to me. I am the mother of an African-American boy, and if my son were to EVER put his hands on a woman, the LAST thing I'd want for him is empathy from other females.

    And no, Chris Brown is not a victim. Perhaps he was as a child witnessing his mother's pain at the hands of his father, but he is now an adult–a very wealthy adult–who knows the difference between right and wrong and can more than afford counseling. The only victims in this case are Rhianna and the poor girls whose minds and souls are so twisted and confused, they're angry at Rhianna for doing something to make Chiris Brown assault her.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. odie

    I am not on either side of Chris or Rhianna and I don't think beating or hitting someone is right either, but Jessica you can't base someone else's ability to overcome an abusive background on your 4 uncles. Not all people become alcoholics who had an alcoholic parent but some do. Some do, some don't. Please remember that.

    July 23, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tracey Williams

    I do agree with Tara Chris Brown owes no one an apology, no one really know what happen unless they were there in the car with the both of them. You know I hear everyone contiune to call him a child, but that child came out and made a public apology to the whole world, Unlike most of the stars and athetics that may have done much worst things then Chris Brown. I believe he is a very nice young man. People go though things in life, and I am sure that is a learning experience for him. Let that man live his life leave him alone. find something else to do with yourselves.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Theresa

    He owes the apology to Rihanna not the freakin public. He is not a victim of this incident Rihanna is. She is the one who got her face smashed in over and over again by his big a** fist. Hello!!! my hand mistakenly made a fist and mistakenly smashed this beautiful black woman in her face. Mistake? I think not. More like a crime.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Lynda

    I don't care what she did, a real man walks away. He didn't just hit her, and anyone looking at the pictures knows this, he beat her.

    If I had been in his shoes, I would have pulled over, asked her to leave the car, or I would have left the car.

    A adult is in control, he was not and he physically hurt someone because of it

    But I agree, he owes me no apology.

    July 23, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Stolen

    Chris is a victim to a degree, he did grow up in an abusive house hold and that within it self will come acroos to some young boy who will become men as they way things are.

    His mom should have taught him that what was happen to her was wrong and made him beleive that as law gods law.

    From what I hear re re was not so innocent herself and also assauted him on occassion, the best thing is they can grow form this and move on.

    Chris was ask to apologize and i believe that was to save his image, I forgive him and so should everyone else at this point we truly don't know what was happening in their lives.

    What we can do going forward is speak out against abuse of any kind when you see it and be real about it and not just say that is wrong.

    I also believe that just because you come from an abused home don't make you an abuser it is still a choice to make no matter which way we look at it.

    Lets raise our children not to be a victim of any kind and that starts in school with bullies, once you allow yourself to become a victim it too is pattern taht is hard to break.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tara

    He doesn't owe US (the public) an apology. He owes it to her. for everyone who has "accepted" his apology, it's not for YOU to accept it. he didn't hit YOU!

    July 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. katy

    DaveM, you are basing your comment off of a police report that was pumped up by TMZ not Rihanna's statement. You have no idea what really happened that night so please stop.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jenb

    I am confused by people who state Chris Brown made a MISTAKE!??? A mistake is transposing numbers in your checkbook or grabbing the wrong item at the grocery store when your in a rush. A purposeful, vicious beating of ANYONE, let alone a woman is not a MISTAKE. It is ALWAYS about personal responsibilty. I do pray Chris can break the abuser cycle and until he does he is just that, AN ABUSER!!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Marie

    Yes he is a victim. I really do no believe that Chris Brown would just jump on Rihanna just because. What did she do? I guess we will never know. Yes there is two sides to the story and I hope the other side comes soon.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DaveM

    Chris Brown is an adult human being who makes his own choices. It does not matter what kind of homelife he had – he knew his actions were wrong. And he did not just "hit" Rihanna, he beat her for several minutes. If Brown is a victim of anything, it is his own stupidity. He is a high-profile celebrity for god's sake – did he not know that his violence against another high-profile celebrity would instantly become news? His "apology" obviously lacked sincerety and was more of a PR stunt than anything. Predictably, he got off with a slap on his wrists; anyone else would have gone to jail. So what did he learn from this life lesson – hire expensive lawyers...

    July 23, 2009 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
  14. Lynda

    I grew up in an abusive household. Myself and all my brothers plus my mother were abused. In this day and age, with the knowledge we now have, there is NO reasons for abuse to perpetuate from one generation to another. None of my brothers or I have ever laid a hand on our children, spouses or friends.

    The ability to stop the cycle is higher now than it has ever been. So sorry, Chris may have been a victim and I feel badly he was, but that is NO excuse for him beating another person. Once you are about 14 you are responsible for your own actions I see way too many people whine they had bad childhoods and therefore should be excused from taking responsibility.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Angie

    "I have four maternal uncles that grew up with an abusive father and not one of them has ever laid a finger on a woman. Just because you are victim once in your life does not warrant sympathy when you repeat the disgusting cycle." -Jessica

    Amen, Jessica. I could not agree with you more. Brown is not a victim, and to treat him as such is to justify his unjustifiable actions. It's disgusting. Does he need help? Absolutely. He clearly cannot control his anger. Does that make him a victim? No. The only victim was his mom, who was the person getting beat up. If anything, it should've made him more sympathetic to the plight of abused women in this country. The fact that he's actually a public figure with fans that are mostly young women should've pushed him to behave in such a way that is honorable and respectful towards women. Like I said before, he DOES need help. And I'm glad he's getting it. But that doesn't mean that he's a victim. He's an attacker. Simple as that.

    As a person, he should be forgiven, and the only person that matters in this case, is Rihanna, whom I'm sure is probably struggling with this whole thing emotionally and she probably will for the rest of her life. As a public figure, absolutely not. I would not want this person to be a role model to my young nephews or cousins. What for? They have enough of these kinds of "role models" in their lives. They don't need more.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  16. john lawrence

    Let's not forget, it was Rihanna that struck the first blow, where's her apology.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  17. Tamika

    People please know that NO ONE knows the entire story of what transpired between Chris Brown and Rhianna except them. NO ONE can judge them because we are not them and they don't owe us anything. Violence is Violence regardless of who hit who. They are both talented, young and will get through this. It was a bad situation for the both of them and they are both victims. No one can judge them nor should either of them have to explain what took place that night. Chris, Rhianna and God only know the truth, as we will never know as we weren't there. Stop speculating and judging as if any of us are perfect.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  18. Superman

    There is not one person on here who is without sin or wrongdoing what makes yours less than his? I say those without sin cast the first stone! no one would be able to comment then! Thats the problem with americans, we are quick to look at the wrong done by others and try and hide the evil that we do ourselves..stop judging others and try judging yourselves for a change, this would be a much better world!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 8:24 am | Report abuse |
  19. Brown-Jordan

    No,Brown is not a victim. He had many mentors and choices and he chose this one. He needs to try that sorry "I'm Sorry" speach again

    July 22, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
  20. getalifeplease!

    Why is everyone on Chris Brown case and not Jim Leyritz he beat up his wife for writing a check and the media have not talked about it instead keep talking about this young man Chris. Leave him alone and let him go on with his life. He pleaded guilty for a felony thats going to be on his record for the rest of his life. It's a shame the media always pat certain people on the back when they do a crime and treat others different.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Thafbeye

    BOTH of these people are victims. DON'T JUDGE them until you, yourself have dealt with your own personal demons.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Katie Porter

    There is no excuse for laying hands on a woman. This is a grown man that we are talking about. He obviousley knows right from wrong, he shows no signs of incompitence. A grown man in his stature should know more than anyone how wrong his actions were.I completley understand that growing up in that kind of invironment can be an extream struggle to cope with. Yet, do you really think that makes an excuse for what he has done. If this woman was your daughter, or mother, or even just your close friend; would you think that this mad was a victim in anyway? Yes, he is a victim to a horrible childhood trama, but in this case... the definition of victim is at the opposite of this mans spectrum.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Sick of Rhianna playing the VICTIM

    He was and still is a vitcim because of all the BS publicity and the all the peopl standing up for her and not minding their own... Rhianna is an adult he is legally a child, she was the agressor in their relationship and from what I hear started all fights and started the hitting of him mainly..If you hit be prepared to get hit back or keep your hands to yourself..She needs to stick with MEN her own age and leave teen boys alone.. she had not right to grab his phone or keys or any thing else of his but nobody comments on that. A lot of woman start fights,hit and hurt men and then play the victim it works all the time..

    July 22, 2009 at 3:10 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Resse

    For those of you that know of someone that grew up in an abusive household and was able to escape the scarring that it causes I'm so happy for you, you're lucky. Some of us however were not so lucky. I actually cried in horror and watched my mother along with my brother being attacked on a regular basis. And you know what we grew up to think we were over what happened and normal b/c we were out of the situation and my brother got in a heated argument and fight when he was about Chris Brown’s age with his girlfriend with the same kind of outcome. That’s when we realized that he had been affected much more than we thought. That’s when we realized that we all needed to seek professional help b/c the scars were much deeper than we thought. My brother is no monster, my brother was scarred and he needed help. Which he got 10 yrs ago and has never had another fit of rage like that one. So yes, I feel that he is a victim. I can also feel compassion for him as I felt compassion for my brother and my mother. Did you watch your mother get brutally attacked on a regular basis? If you did and were able to escape with no scars then I’m happy for you but some of us weren’t so lucky. Some of us were affected more than others… They both used bad judgement fighting in that car while they were driving could have killed an innocent person then we’d be blaming both of them. Bad judgement was used all around in this incident. We need to teach all people (men and women) that violence is not the answer and it’s not excusable from either sex. Most of all they are both victims and they both need help. Let's find solutions to help kids that come from those type of homes to receive counseling and not just the mothers. The kids need help too. I hope that once Chris is done with his counseling he will use his public platform and blessings from God to speak to children and lobby for programs. I can see this turning into something very positive that others benefit from.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  25. La

    UMMM child? Look here is the deal he beat the tar out of his girlfriend if she would not have stood up for her self would he still be beating her. it is one thing to get mad and say hurtful things but he BIT her tried to PUSH her out of a car, CHOKED her threaten to KILL her

    Hats off to you Rhianna 7 out of 10 women would have taken it and kept quiet YOU are the inspiration Chris Brown should try some of that mess on a man and see how far he gets.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  26. RB

    There's more to this story than meets the eye. Pictures of Rihanna and her police statement were released to incite public anger and outrage. Everyone rushed to judgement without hearing Chris Brown's side or seeing any pictures of him the night he was arrested. There was a physical altercation and Chris shouldn't have touched her but this story is grossly exaggerated. I know women who have been "beat down" and, believe me, it's much worse than a swollen lip and smudged mascara. The black eyes, bruising, cuts and swelling didn't miraculously disappear in time for the women I know to be seen in bikinis on the beach 2 weeks later either! Chris is very young man who deserves the chance to learn from his mistakes and grow up without being railroaded by the public and media. Leave him alone!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  27. dj

    I for one try to forgive and not judge. We all deal with demons and just because you " perfect people" have never had to deal with abuse doesn't mean you know how hard or easy it is to turn it off. How many of you commited adultery, how many of you lie to your love one, how many of you are selfish in your relationship, how many of you pretend you are happy in your relationship when you aren't, how many of you say he's a monster when you've hit someone too, but you are projecting on him to make yourself look good on this website. They say if a child watches violence on tv growing up, they will become violent (not all, but a lot do). So until you start looking at your own faults stop putting this man down for one, that's one, again one bad mistake. And if we put everyone in jail for a first time offense then a lot of you would be in jail right now. If this had been between non-famous couple we would be past it by now. So forgive or else you're going to find yourself in a situation where you're being judged for what you've done. No one should hit anyone but since Rhianna had no problem with the punishment he got you shouldn't either. According to the way it went she hit him first thus the plea deal and lesser charge.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Chipley

    this is getting old give the kid a break let him go on with his life God bless them both Rihanna & Chris they are kids just learning that to every action there is a reaction

    July 22, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
  29. wickedcricket

    We are all victims of abuse and violence either directly or indirectly

    July 22, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Donnie

    Once you cross that line and make someone your victim then you are the offender. You know lets put this in perspective, I understand that at one point Chris Brown the woman hitter, grew up in a violent way watching his mother be abused. However, now that he has walked a mile in those shoes, he is just as much a culprit as the man who hit is mother. if your parents are abusive, and you do not abuse your children then you remain a victim of your parents, and your children are still your children. If Chris Brown would have never hit Rhianna then he would remain a victim of his mother's abuser, but now he is the abuser, which in turn makes him a loser. I am not buying any of it. He deserves what he gets, maybe he will be beat up one day by some thug who lets their temper get the better of them. When that day comes he will be the victim again.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Jason

    The word "victim" is so overused in our society it is applied to everybody at some point. Yes, apparently he grew up in an abusive household. For him to mention that in his apology is bad taste. When that came out it was as if he was apologizing and added "but" to the end of it. There's no excuse, especially when you see and live with that violence firsthand. People like him who grew up in an abusive home should be the LAST people to ever become violent against a "loved" one since they know how tragic that life and lifestyle is.

    I really don't think he quite "gets" it. He has millions at age 19, so he probably thinks he doesn't need to.

    Let's quit watering down what he did by using the word "assault" and call the action exactly what it is: "He beat the sh*t out of his girlfriend." Put it in perspective. He'll do it again, too. Or worse....

    July 22, 2009 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Sheree`

    No, I do not believe Chris Brown is a victim, just because you've come from an environment that is abusive does not give you an excuse to abuse! Chris felt the urge to hit her before he hit her, he should have walked away. He should have done some soul searching and realized that this is what he saw in his environment in the past and got some help or whatever!

    Regardless of anything he is an adult he must be held responsible for his actions, so he will learn to be a better human.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Mohini

    I agree with with you. I also wonder why no one has looked at the fact that also, it is not o.k for a woman , or girl to physically or emotionally attack a man or boy. Unfortunitely, we live in a world where some people exploit being a women in situations that are not cut and dry. It is cut and dry that you never use physical violence as a means to handle a situation, that you can walk away from. But look at the fact that Rhianna was also ordered to stay away from Chris Brown. They both were complicit in this altercation, he just happens to the man and the stronger one physically. I really hope he can get pass this , and her as well. Its not fair to ruin his entire career over a mistake he made as a teenager. There have far worst crimes committed by others in the entertainment industry, and we still promote them in positive ways.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Monique

    I would like to respond to Jessica who left a comment on 7/21. That is to be commended if your uncles have never laid a hand as you say on a women. My question to you is how would you know that. See I have 7 uncles my self and in most situations we as neices or nephews are younger than our uncles and everything is not known to us when we are children. Now I said all that because, we have to know that no one is perfect and as i get older i realize that more and more from my family situations as well as my own imperfections. This young man should not have put his hands on Rhyanna at all but it happened and he needs and seems to be acknowledging that he has a problem and is getting help.. Now i am also coming from a family where my father abused/shot and did anything he wanted to my mother in front of me and i would have like to think my brother would not repeat it but he did once that i know of. You have to put yourself in someone elses place sometimes to understand a situation.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Tara

    What has happened to our society? Are we really that nieve? A man can physically abuse a woman and then say a simple "I'm sorry" and al is forgiven?? How about the fact that he is a criminal?? Does that not count for anything? Or is it that he is a celebrity so let's give him a pass. I'm sure if you visited the hundreds of prisons around this country and spoke to the thousands of prisoners sitting in jail for domestic abuse they would gladly give an "I'm Sorry" if it meant they got out of jail! Don't give me this "I'm a victim, too" nonsense. I was physically, mentally and emotionally abused as a child and I have 2 kids now, do you think I treat them the same way? NO! Becuase I know it doesn't pay to treat people like that. We are not talking about a little boy "from the hood" who has no other choice but to follow in the hirrible foot-steps. This is a highly successful, publicly lauded performer who has traveled all around the world and met highly influential people and yet he claims to still be a victim of his upbringing. He isnt a victim he likes POWER and CONTROL and thats why he did it. So he should be punished the same way every other criminal is. Not given special treatment. Not given the ol "hey, at least he apologized". CRIMINALS SHOULD BE PUNISHED FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE...... NO EXCEPTIONS!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Renee

    Growing up seeing my mother as a violent female, I would always say I don't want to be like her. Whenever I was in a relationship I would play the submissive role until I realized guys were taking advantage of that big time. Then I became bitter and I would become the violent one. I became the crazy, insecure, violent female. It took a lot of reflecting & maturing for me to become the more rational young woman I am today. Your environment definitely plays a role in the person you become. Not everyone who grows up in an abusive home becomes abusive, just like not every guy who is raped grows up to rape little kids. But, not everyone deals with pain the same way. Some know how to talk it out, some never seek proper help and internalize it. What Chris Brown did to that young lady was wrong and inexcusable and he owned up to it in that video. But, what you guys don't seem to realize is that yes he is a victim only because he chose to be the victim. He became the victim when he decided to continue the cycle. What else most of you don't seem to realize is that he can stop the cycle now if he chooses. He doesn't have to continue down this path. Right now he's a young guy, not in a committed relationship, and without children. If he's truly sorry he can stop now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  37. GHW

    I think that Chris Brown did make a mistake he knows that he was wrong and he apologized so we need to keep it moving. I do believe that it was not a one sided incident. Rhianna stated that she took his phone and that she took off her shoe and hit him in the head.
    Realistically in a domestic assault situation she would of been charged also. If husband/wife are fighting and they both pass a lick they both are charged with the domestic assault. It does not go by who hit who first or why someone passed a lick.
    I have a friend who's husband jumped on her out of anger and because she did hit him back she was arrested also. Charges were dropped on both people.
    The celeberties seem to have a different set of laws of the land than we go by.
    I honestly wish only the best for both Rhianna and Chris and hope they learn from this experience..

    July 22, 2009 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  38. Lee

    Suze, she didn't "wind up" in the hospital. She didn't even want to go, but it's standard procedure to take her there to get her checked out.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  39. Once a victim

    Once a victim myself (and yes I am a man) I looked into this case. I have a 19 year old daughter who loves Chris Brown a teenage son who likes hus music. I wanted to make sure they new what kind of person he was. As a singler father married for 20 years divorced for 3 years this was what a parents job is all about, protecting your children from abusers. Chris Brown was abused as a child (some excuse but not condoned), but the most important thing was that yes he hit her and he was wrong the young lady hit him first and thats just as wrong. I see this way to much, when a man get abused by woman society say man up, but when a man hits a woman society says you are a horrible person. Both are wrong, stop demonizing one and not the other. ABUSE IS WRONG REGARDLESS WHO IS COMMITTING THE CRIME.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  40. K. H. Brown

    We have to consider his background. We are ALL products of our background. We extract good and bad traits from what we were exposed to as a child. Considering that he saw this behavior as a child is not a excuse. It was his reality.

    We learn responsibility, morals, dependability, and what is considered acceptable and unacceptable from our "home life" surroundings. Even when we go out into the world and see and hear something contrary to what we were exposed to as a child , that childhood visual does not immediately negate what we experieinced.

    I am not saying this as an excuse for Chris Brown. But it has to be considered. As well as Rihanna should talk to someone about why she too thinks domestic violence is the way to handle things. They both are abusers. Rihanna just got the worse of the fihgt.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  41. Deeg

    There is NO excuse for his behaviour and those trying to use his "witnessing" domestic violence as an excuse for his behaviour should read a little book called "A Child Called It". There is no excuse only choice! As for the comment that no one would "prolong his agony" if he wasnt a star. I disagree – if we wasnt a star, just the guy down the street beating on women, no one would be trying to excuse or forgive it!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  42. LBW

    I think Chris and Rihanna are a couple of spoiled rich punks who feel that they stand above everyone. They were drinking and she may have been egging him on. He is not supposed to hit, but did she hit him? Is that fair? There is more to this story.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  43. Reign

    And yes, he's a victim too. When women allow monsters into their homes and their children witness that monster abusing the mom and the children, that's a problem. I'm starting to think that women who allow this need to be held accountable too. I'm tired of women claiming fear and allowing monsters into their homes to beat the crap out of them and their children. It's one thing to let someone beat you down, but to let that happen in front of your children is another. I'm being too critical I know, but I'm tired of this. Why is it that monstrous abusive men know how to find the right woman that will allow him to be a monster? A man has one time to put his hand on you and that's because you didn't know, but that should be your sign that he can't control his anger, he has issues and you need to keep it moving. Back in the day women had no support or nowhere to go with their children and depended on men, but that's not the case these days. Some women are attracted to these abusive men and they don't realize they're also setting it up for their sons and daughters to attract this behavior as well.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  44. Lisa

    Yes, he does deserve a second chance. I believe there is more to the story than what has been told. But does it make it right for a girl to hit a boy just because he was raise/taught not to hit a girl. Some females use this to their advantage. Which I believe happened in this case. No it did not make it right for him to hit her but did it make it right for her to hit him?

    July 22, 2009 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  45. Patricia

    I have two sons who grew up in a home with domestic abuse, both verbal and physical. And neither of them has ever laid a hand on a woman.

    But that said – that does not mean that every situation would be like mine. The fact that my sons do not abuse doesn't prove anything about what effect abuse has on EVERY child and what they do as an adult.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  46. Reign

    For all of you people out there who have been abused or know someone that has, I know you want to make an example of this young man. There are some men (and women) out there who are monsters, I don't believe this young man is one of the them. I believe his apology is sincere and I forgive him. I'm sure he was advised not to say anything until all legalities were handled/processed or whatever. And I think that was sound advice. There's no pleasing some of you because you've experienced and encountered such abuse in your lives that you finally have someone to direct your anger at..get counseling! This young man and woman participated in a highly volatile relationship that has now come to an end. Both of them should now be able to see their vulnerabilities and seek the help they require to grow into happy, healthy adults. Some of us are still battling our demons, in denial even. Every situation is different. Stop directing unwarranted anger at this young man. He's paying his debt and his apology is sincere. He loved that young lady, but he had some demons from seeing his mother being abused. He probably never received counseling and that angry monster was within, now that he knows better, I'm sure he'll do better.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  47. CARLA M


    July 22, 2009 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  48. n2me

    Chris Brown is a victim. I truely believe that when it is all said and done the public will come to realize that Rihanna was the aggressor in the relationship. I think that–just like the movie the burning bed–on this particular night he snapped. However, because he is a male, he is 'supposed to know better', never hit a female and always be in control. Well, men are human beings just like woman. I bet that in years to come we will see the pattern of abuse in Rihanna's future relationships because she is not being held accountable for her actions. She appears needy, volatile and controlling–all the charateristics of an abuser. Nobody has questioned her actions from that night like why was she going through his cell phone, why didn't she get out of the car when she had the opportunity instead of taking the keys and sitting on them? This is all in the police report. I think chris brown got the bad end of the deal because he is a man. To me, because he saw his mother being abused would make him more likely not to abuse. Right now, the message being sent out is that a female can do whatever she wants to a male but he cannot defend himself. I heard that c brown will appear on Oprah to tell what happened that night hopefully he can communicate clearly so people will understand that he didn't just start hitting on Rihanna just because she went through his cell phone as much of the public seems to think is what happened.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  49. Annie

    I believe he is a victim. There are always three sides to this story, his side, her side, and the absolute truth. Rihanna may act like she is the victim but I believe both of them are victims. We don't know what transpired between the two of them but them. I feel that everyone deserves another chance. Now, I am not saying a woman should stay in an abusive relationship, however, if all is said and done there are things in our lives we do not want anyone to know about. Chris is in the limelight so we know certain things about him. I always stand by this phrase, "He who is without sin cast the first stone". Some folks out here have done way worst than this young man has done; but it is secretly hidden way in the back of the closet.

    I feel he should be left alone. Has anyone heard of growth? I believe there are things that people do and they grow and go one from there. I just hope that he learns a lesson from this as well as Rihanna.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
  50. Tyg

    OK I am so sick and tired of the Chris Brown thing. He is a teen.. 19 to be specific. He made a mistake and is seeking counseling. I need everyone to get over themselves. If he wasnt a star no one would have prolonged his agony. Dont you think he has suffered enough? My God!! Give the child a break, because he is a child, he is guilty as well as a victim. He has time to redeem himself. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise for him, Rihanna and others in the world. People need to find the blessings in things instead of the badgering. Frankly, its getting old and useless!

    July 22, 2009 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  51. KJ from Atlanta

    YES, YES, YES!!! Chris Brown really only needed to apologize to, GOD and Rihanna and whether or not she accepts her apology is between the two of them. He didn't owe us a DAMN thing. But, i appreciate the fact that he recognized that because he was who he was that "WE" would want to hear from him. So to all the moroons on this site that have their opinions and stories about the situation. LET IT GO!!! If you believe in a higher power, BEST BELIEVE CHRIS BROWN HAS BEEN FORGIVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Worry about what you do that is not 100% sanctified. I'm sure we all need to ask forgiveness for something, but guess what THE WORLD IS NOT GOING TO BE YOUR JUDGE!

    July 22, 2009 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  52. *Little One*

    There is a reason we follow our own paths in life and who we are is who we choose to be. My father was very abusive to me and my mother. I am 21 now and I still hurt from it, thinking about it but I see it as something that helped me shape who I am today. I saw it as a life I knew I didn't want to have and I vowed not to be like that. When you are in that situation it is different. Yes he was a victim and yes he has free will to be who he chooses to be. If anything he should help fight for peolpe who have been in that situation and use that fame for something other than partying. But i guess that blaming who you are on somebody else is easier than actually standing up for what you know is right and being a better person because of it. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, but in his case it just made him a statistic.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  53. Ashton

    There are always THREE sides to every story!!! His, hers and the truth.
    We still don't know the details and frankly we shouldn't know the details. I am sick and tired of people acting like Chris should be walking around with his head held down! If he says he is sorry who are we to say that it wasn't sincere. It's stupid!!! He is 20 years old and he will learn from this and I will take him at his world that he is working on himself. We all do things that may not be morally acceptable but we don't have to live it out for the world to see. We all have room for improvement. I believe he knows what he did was wrong but with anything YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL DO UNTIL YOU ARE FACED WITH IT. STOP BEING JUDGEMENTAL PEOPLE AND TAKE A LOOK IN THE MIRROR...YOU ARE NOT PERFECT AND WHEN YOU SAY YOUR SORRY YOU WANT PEOPLE TO BELIEVE YOU AND UNDERSTAND YOU MADE A MISTAKE!
    ***Chris stay prayed up...God is a forgiving God and he is the only one you need to trust in!*** I support you!

    July 22, 2009 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  54. Char

    I grew up in an abusive home and although I could never strike anyone, I have a brother who struggles with this. Its all we knew growing up. I do not condone my brothers actions and I know he is wrong for what he does but I see where it comes from. What I do blame him for is not getting the help he needs. He knows he has a problem tries to fix it himself. I feel the problem is too big for him to handle on his own. I watched the Chris Brown Video and I hoped he follows through. That would be ideal and maybe, just maybe others will follow. If not then he is like other abusers who will say "I am so sorry" just to turn and do it again.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  55. WJ

    I agree. Chris Brown is also a victim. He has apologized and hopefully will now be able to resume his life and career.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:33 am | Report abuse |
  56. tresa

    Yes. I think he has paid for his and still paying. Give the 19 year old a break!!

    July 22, 2009 at 5:15 am | Report abuse |
  57. Bryce

    "If this was just about a guy who hit a girl and then put out a well crafted statement I would be blasting him and that would be that. But there is a bigger story here- Chris Brown is also a victim. He came from a home where there was domestic abuse and now the cycle continues. I have a hard time making him a one dimensional monster because it is more complex than that."

    Sorry, I don't buy that at all. That's nonsense and not nearly a good enough excuse! Rihanna is the victim here, NOT Chris Brown. If he is a victim at all he's a victim of his own actions. Now I will agree that everyone deserves a second chance, but I also think that people shouldn't be making ridiculous excuses for him either. The fact is, he performed a hideous violent act and if that stems from something "more complex" or deeper than what's on the surface, it's only an indication that he needs to seek professional help. An apology is all well and good, but ultimately it doesn't solve the problem beneath the surface. If this is indeed part of a "cycle" of violence, then that needs to be addressed by professionals in order for him to actually change as a person.

    There is no doubt that Chris Brown is a very talented, popular performer that's easy on the eyes and this has given him a huge fanbase (predominatly young women) who are very eager to forgive and forget. But I think people should really try to look at things like this objectively. If (hypothetically speaking) he had sexually assualted her instead of beating her, would people be so quick to forgive and forget? Would a recorded apology be enough? I sincerely doubt it! When I look at the pictures of Rihanna's face after the incident, it's difficult to view that as anything other than a brutal assault. As much as I want to like this guy again and pretend that everything could go back the way it was, I just can't. Maybe with some committal towards behavioral counseling I could learn to forgive and move on. But I'm sorry, a simple apology does nothing for me. He needs help, otherwise he will still be just another woman beater.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:10 am | Report abuse |
  58. Eric Pivnik

    No. He is the perpetrator. An easy way to remember is the perpetrator commits the crime against the victim. Now you won't get the two mixed up.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:12 am | Report abuse |
  59. Patty

    I think he might be a victim but he or we don't need to use coming from an abusing family as an excuse. He knows that he does need some professional help so hopefully he doesn't repeat an incident like this one.
    Hopefully, even tho his PR people did a beautiful apology for him, that he did mean it from his heart. He's a kid. A kid that deserves another chance. I kid that had so much going for him and it seems everyone is willing to give him that chance.
    Take that chance and run with it Chris Brown. I for one, a person in my mid 50's, will be cheering for you.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:34 am | Report abuse |
  60. Melissa

    Let's excuse what he did because he came from a family that had problems with domestic abuse?? I don't think so. There are plenty of people that have horrible, horrible childhoods, going through things much worse than Chris Brown, and grow up to be wonderful people that would never lay a hand on anyone. History like that is never an excuse, yet somehow it only comes out when an excuse is needed. No, what he did was wrong and disgusting, no matter what he went through as a kid.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
  61. Nicole

    No, he isn't a victim. He is an adult, knows the difference between right and wrong therefore, regardless of what occured in the past, chose to beat his girlfriend. Domestic abuse is a cyclical thing, he had the option to end the cycle, he CHOSE not to, that is on him. Domestic abuse has a lot of press and still continues to plague both men and women. Using the past as an excuse is just that, an excuse. He made a personal choice, a choice that he regrets, does he regret it because he got caught, has been given bad press, or is actually sorry? No he is not a victim...

    July 22, 2009 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
  62. Jackie

    To all the people out there everyone deserves to be forgiven. If murders can be forgiven why cant Chris? He is a human being, he is not perfect none of us are. He who is without sin cast the first stone. Are any of you perfect? Would all of you be upset if he beat up just a regular woman? Other entertainers have done wrong and be forgiven why cant we forgive him?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Uahmad

    He was a victim until he threw a punch. After that he is only an abuser.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  64. Alena

    Rihanna has to accept his apology. We all must raise our sons and daughters to respect others. Violence is a common problem among us and we have to stop it in the media and in our homes.

    Shame on TMZ for posting the pictures of a beaten Rihanna – just for the bucks and recognition. Harvey Levin would never post those pictures of his daughter – we would hope.

    Chris is a victim, too, of poor parental raising; Who taught him to beat women? Who told him it was ok? Chris is also an adult, who must own up to his unacceptable and brutal mistake and spend the rest of his life convincing himself and the woman he chooses – as well as his own children-that they must choose better and that such an act is not o.k.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  65. Suze

    Tens of thousands of people experienced abuse of one kind or another as children. The vast majority of us don't use this as an excuse to get away with abusing our own significant other so severely that they wind up in the hospital.

    He knows right from wrong – he just apparently thinks that this is a good justification.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Lynn Fletcher

    I agree Chris Brown is a victim too! I grew up in a household of domestic abuse, my mother would lose it on my stepfather. She would confront him on any minor situations, she would push and push yelling and screaming. The minute he would touch her in response she called the police, and he was taking away. Where is the conversation on women who think they can punch and kick at a man when they lose control? Rihanna should seek some kind of relationship and anger advice as well. Of course the minute she lost it in that car, and began hitting him and yelling Chris should have pulled over and walked away. He didn't that 's a mistake that will follow him always, personally I forgive him .
    She has moved on I think we should too.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Report abuse |
  67. faustushood

    Chris Brown is a victim in the sense that he suffered emotional damage growing up in an environment of domestic violence but......

    that does not excuse his actions, domestic violence was a regular and brutal part of my life growing up too and I would never hit a woman, so I feel I have a right to call BS on using that as an excuse to justify C.B. beating up Rihanna....

    July 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
  68. Samantha

    Of course he's a victim too. When you've lived in an abusive environment your always on edge. I will always believe more went on on both sides than was reported. I believe both of them have a violent backgound and they should not have been together. My prayers are constantly for this young man it's not too late for him. I believe he is a good child that grew up in a bad environment. I just wish people would have compassion for him and show he a non violent way of life.
    He's going to be alright.

    July 21, 2009 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  69. Donna

    I hope next time before he put his hands on any woman, he will use the good sense God gave him. His mother seem to be a nice and intelligent woman who raised him well. Chris, control the fame, don't let it control you

    July 21, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  70. Char

    Chris Brown is definitely not a victim. He beat that hat girl and then threatened her life. He should be in jail with all the other scum that beat women! The fact that he grew up in an environment where abuse against women was allowed should have made him more enlightened and sensitive to the issue.

    July 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Carina Green

    No. And his apology was less about apologizing than it was about distancing himself from "what happened". I understand he's sorry it happened and i believe him but i don't hear him taking responsibility for it.

    July 21, 2009 at 7:08 pm | Report abuse |
  72. G. Green

    How many MEN had he attacked?

    July 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Brian

    Chris Brown is a victim in the sense that he was exposed to violence as a child. That, however, is no excuse for what he did to Rihanna. Asking the quesion about his victim status seems to move the focus from his reprehensible actions and subsequent apology. Of course, it's sad that he was exposed to violence as a child, but that should not shift the focus and somehow explain his choice to act violently toward Rihanna.

    July 21, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  74. beverly hendricks

    I believe he is a victim as well. To watch that situation as a child may leave some with a rage they are unaware of. The rage from feeling so helpless and not in control. Some promise themselves that they will never be that way to another person, but they don't know what is buried inside them and when it will come out. Now he knows he has an issue to deal with, we all need to be forgiving and pray for him and anyone in his future that he takes the steps to deal with it. All the perfect people please stand up.........

    July 21, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  75. Makayla coleman

    I think that there is more to this story. I believe that Rihanna is not an innocent victim. I believe that its too bad that things got taken this far between the two and the public outlash that Chris has faced. I accept his apology as sincere and well thought out. I hope the public will let this be an event from his past, and the two of them can both look forward to their bright futures.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Jessica

    I have four maternal uncles that grew up with an abusive father and not one of them has ever laid a finger on a woman. Just because you are victim once in your life does not warrant sympathy when you repeat the disgusting cycle.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |

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