US singer Chris Brown admits Rihanna assault

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 23, 2009 at 4:11 AM EST

R&B singer Chris Brown has pleaded guilty to assaulting former girlfriend Rihanna and will be sentenced to 180 days of community service for the attack, lawyers said Monday.

Lawyers for Brown, who had earlier pleaded not guilty to assault charges, announced the deal as the singer appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court for a preliminary hearing into the case.

The plea deal sees Brown, 20, escape a jail sentence for his February 8 attack on "Umbrella" singer Rihanna, which took place as the couple drove home from a pre-Grammy Awards party.

The incident shocked the music world and left Rihanna nursing cuts and bruises to her face, forcing her to cancel a scheduled performance at the Grammys in Los Angeles later that day.

Brown issued an apology following the incident, saying he was "sorry and saddened" by the events and that he was seeking the counseling of his pastor, family and friends.

Affidavits filed in the case alleged Brown slammed Rihanna's head against the window of a car the couple were traveling in before repeatedly punching and biting her.

Under the plea deal, Brown will be placed on probation for five years and must perform 180 days of "labor-oriented" community work in his home state of Virginia, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced at a hearing in August.

Rihanna appeared in court with her lawyer Monday after Brown had left the packed courtroom.

Both singers were not available for comment although Rihanna's lawyer Donald Etra said the star was satisfied by the outcome.

"Rihanna believes that this is a fair and just resolution to this case," Etra told reporters. "She's feeling fine. She understood what was happening in court. She did not object to the plea by Chris."

Etra said Rihanna had been willing to testify against Brown had the case gone to trial.

"She was fully prepared to testify to what happened that evening and she would have told the truth," Etra said, brushing off questions concerning the state of Rihanna's current relations with Brown.

"It's inappropriate to discuss the terms of their relationship," he said. "Suffice it to say that there's a stay away order."




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