Chris Brown Ordered Not to Contact Rihanna for 5 Years
Brown, 20, was formally sentenced in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday to six months of community labor in Virginia after he pleaded guilty in June to one count of felony assault against Rihanna, 21.
Brown's six-month labor sentence will be supervised by the chief of police in Richmond, Va., who wrote to the judge that Brown would perform graffiti removal, cleaning and maintaining grounds, and washing cars. "Brown's labor hours will be flexible to accommodate his entertainment career," according to DA spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons.
The singer, who looked solemn and wore a black pinstripe suit and matching tie, was also sentenced to five years of probation, a year of domestic violence classes, and was ordered to pay fines. He was accompanied in the courtroom by his mother and at least one bodyguard.
As part of his plea bargain with prosecutors, a second felony charge of making criminal threats was dropped. Rihanna was not present for the hearing.
Donald Etra, an attorney for the "Umbrella" singer, had previously asked the judge for lesser restrictions on communication and contact between the two singers.
However, L.A. Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg ordered Brown not to have any communication with Rihanna for the next five years, which includes phone and email contact. Brown was also ordered not to come within 100 yards of Rihanna – 10 yards if they're both at the same event.
Toward the end of the hearing, Judge Schnegg warned Brown, in an apparent reference to reports that the two singers may have had contact against court order: "I'm not immune to any chatter on the airwaves. Do you understand, Mr. Brown, that any violation of this order is a violation of your probation and it comes with the possible penalty of prison?" Brown responded "Yes."
Asked if Rihanna was disappointed by the stay-away order, her lawyer stated: "There were no surprises today. The decision was up to the court, not Rihanna."
Etra added that Rihanna does have the option of asking the court to soften the stay-away order down the line, but he wouldn't say if she plans to do so. Etra added that while the order specifically forbids Brown from contacting Rihanna, she was also warned by the court back in June not to contact him.
Last month, Brown publicly apologized for the incident, saying, "I have told Rihanna countless times, and I am telling you today, that I am truly sorry and that I wasn't able to handle the situation both differently and better."
Asked if Rihanna has forgiven Brown for the incident, her lawyer replied, "I do not discuss her personal life in public."
Brown and his attorney, Mark Geragos, left the courthouse without making a comment.