Brown Due in Court over Whitney Incident

Brown Due in Court over Whitney Incident
Bobby Brown
Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP

05/05/2004 AT 09:00 AM EDT

Bobby Brown is due in an Atlanta-area courtroom Wednesday for a preliminary hearing on charges that he hit his wife Whitney Houston in the face during an alleged fight in their home last December.

The hearing will allow Fulton County Magistrate Judge Barry Zimmerman to determine whether there's enough evidence to have the R&B singer, 34, proceed to trial on the misdemeanor battery charge, reports the Associated Press.

Speaking last Friday night in an interview on Dateline NBC, Brown, 34, said that he and Houston, 40, had a "little spat" while goofing around, He said he did not hit his wife.

"I'm not saying it was made up. It was just, like, we play like that. We play slap box," Brown, with his mother sitting at his side, told NBC's Stone Phillips. "That's what we do, and you know, I guess once she just took it a little serious, and she'll tell you the same thing."

Brown was unavailable for comment. An automated message at the home Brown shares with Houston in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta said the voicemail box was full, AP reports. Attempts to reach Houston, her publicist and Brown's attorney were not successful.

According to a Fulton County Police Department report, Houston phoned them around 10:20 p.m. on Dec. 7 and said that she and Brown had been in a fight at their home.

Furthermore, the reports states, Brown said he was going to beat her "and then struck the left side of her face with an open right hand. ... The victim had visible injuries to her face which included a bruise on her left cheek approximately 1 inch in diameter and a cut upper lip on the inner upper left portion of her mouth."

Brown was not arrested, because, says the report, about five minutes after the incident he left to catch a plane to Los Angeles.

On Dateline, Brown said about the police report: "I got big hands, man. I would hurt her, you know? It would be more than just a little cut on the lip."

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