Best of 2009

12 Most Shocking Moments of 2009

Michael Jackson's death, the Hudson River miracle crash, the Balloon Boy hoax and more of the year's jaw-dropping stories

CHRIS BROWN ASSAULTS RIHANNA

Rihanna and Chris Brown were supposed to perform at the Grammys on Feb. 8 – instead, Brown was charged with attacking his then-girlfriend on the eve of the show, and Rihanna dropped out of sight. Ultimately, Brown was forbidden from contacting his now ex-girlfriend for five years, received five years' probation and had to attend a domestic violence class. Months later, Rihanna broke her silence in Glamour, saying she was "stronger, wiser and more aware" – and ready to speak for battered women.