In the News
Rihanna Will Testify Against Chris Brown if Subpoenaed
Brown Says Rihanna Hit First; Oprah Reacts
Rihanna will testify against Chris Brown if called upon, according to her attorney. If the case against Chris Brown – charged with two felonies – goes to trial, attorney Donald Etra said Rihanna will cooperate fully with the district attorney.
“At this point, she is willing to do anything that the law requires her to do. If subpoenaed, she will testify,” Etra told MTV News.
While this seems a step in the right direction – at least she hasn’t outright refused to testify – the statement still leaves me uneasy. Etra’s words offer less than the damning condemnation the situation demands. Rihanna and her attorney should be going after Brown with everything in their power.
Instead, they’re dancing around the alleged domestic abuse, passively promising to “do anything that the law requires” and failing to request a restraining order.
Chris Brown’s attorneys are reportedly seeking a plea deal, arguing the charges against him should be reduced from felonies to misdemeanors, with no jail time. They claim Rihanna hit Brown first, which they say should weaken the felony charges against him.
If Rihanna did strike Brown first – and that’s a big if – that may change the tone of the debate. But Brown’s attorneys should proceed carefully. Do they really want to equivocate Rihanna’s alleged single strike to Brown’s allegedly vicious and lengthy pummeling?
That’s like saying that because I splashed water on you, you should get to hold my head under water, choke me until I start to drown and then call it a misdemeanor because I got you wet. I’m guessing, at least in the court of public opinion, that argument won’t fly.
(But I’d love to know what you think. Does it matter that Rihanna may have struck Chris first after reading text messages indicating he was cheating on her? Is there a double standard when it comes to domestic abuse? Please discuss in the comments section!)
Oprah Winfrey weighed in on the situation on her show Friday. And thank goodness she did. Finally, a celebrity who refused to act as an apologist for Brown. (What are you thinking, Diddy, when you reportedly lend your house to Brown so he can brainwash Rihanna into returning to him?)
Thank goodness Lady O handled the matter with the seriousness and gravity it deserves. I hope Rihanna was listening as Oprah spoke this sentence, clearly and slowly: “If a man hits you once, he will hit you again.”
Oprah, who’s dedicating her show to domestic violence this week, also reminded her audience that “love doesn’t hurt.”
These words seem so simple, but as we’ve written about extensively, they are often the hardest for victims of abuse to hear. It’s still difficult for any of us to understand why Rihanna would return to Chris Brown or why she’d even consider – as some rumors have suggested – marrying him.
And yet, this high profile story is educating all of us on the overwhelming challenges facing victims of abuse.
Hopefully by trying to understand the incomprehensible, we’ll be able to help the one in four women in our country in Rihanna’s terrifying position.