Domestic violence experts warn Rihanna over ‘belligerent’ Chris Brown

Experts add that the singer doesn't seem 'to have changed much'

Domestic violence experts have warned Rihanna not to become too close to Chris Brown again following their recent collaboration, as he doesn’t seem to have ”changed much” since he assaulted her three years ago.

A remix of Rihanna’s track ‘Birthday Cake’ featuring a new contribution from Brown, in which he introduces himself by saying “Girl, I want to fuck you right now” and goes onto add several other NSFW verses, was posted online yesterday (February 21).

Representatives for the pair have insisted that they are just friends and have not rekindled their romance, but executive director of National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Rita Smith still instructed Rihanna to be wary of her ex-boyfriend.

Citing his recent Twitter rant in which he launched a verbal attack on people who had criticised the platform he was given at this year’s Grammy Awards, she said: “The response was fairly belligerent and didn’t really indicate that he had changed much in the several years since the assault.”

She added:

I think it’s possible they can be friends, and however they’re involved again, whether it’s as intimate partners or as good friends or as professional associates, I hope that he continues to treat her with respect.

However, Ellen Loy, director of clinical services at the House Of Ruth, said that the collaboration could spark debate among young people about the pitfalls of domestic violence. “Sometimes what it does is raise the consciousness around the issue,” she said. “My hope would be that there’s a lot of schools and teen groups talking about what do you think this means, do you think this is a good thing, do you think it is a bad thing?” she said. “I think that’s always a good thing.”

Last week (February 17), Brown denied using a chat-up line that referenced his assault of Rihanna. It was reported the singer, who attacked Rihanna on the evening of the 2009 Grammy Awards and was subsequently sentenced to five years of probation and six months of community labour, had approached a woman and said: “Can I get your number? I promise I won’t beat you.”

However, Brown released a statement which read: “That is absurd and absolutely not true. I did not say that nor would I joke about that.”

Earlier this month, (February 10), meanwhile, a US court rejected his plea to end his probation term. Brown has completed an anger management programme as part of his rehabilitation and has been praised by various judges throughout his probation, but Superior Court Judge George Lomeli insisted he should continue to regularly report to a probation officer in his home state of Virginia for another two years.

For an in-depth report on the controversy about Rihanna and Chris Brown’s collaboration, pick up the new issue of NME, which is on UK newsstands and available digitally now.