Chris Brown has been released without charge after he was arrested on suspicion of rape in Paris. A 24-year-old woman told police she was raped at a hotel room earlier this month. An investigation into the alleged crime will continue following Brown's release. Brown denied all culpability, in an Instagram post reading “this bitch lying” with the caption calling the allegation “disrespectful” and one that goes against his “character and morals”. He has now deleted the post, and reports suggest that Brown is planning to sue the alleged victim for defamation.
The news of Brown’s arrest was of little surprise to those acquainted with his past. Back in 2009, Brown was found guilty of assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna, in an “argument” that led to her hospitalisation. Brown was handed a five-year restraining order, five years probation, six months of community service and one year of domestic-violence counselling. But this high-profile case is only one of many violent crimes Brown has been involved in.
Brown's continuing fame and relative success confirm our greatest fear when it comes to men and the power they hold – that it takes so much more than a woman’s pain to shake them
Another ex-girlfriend, Karrueche Tran, accused Brown of threatening to murder her and in 2017 was granted a five-year restraining order. A year earlier, Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly pointed a gun at a woman and threatened her – he was released on bail. He has also been sued by a woman who was allegedly raped in his house, claiming that Brown aided the attack by telling the alleged rapist to barricade the room in which it took place. Brown has also been arrested for assault and battery on multiple occasions, and is currently banned from entering the United Kingdom.
And yet, much like R Kelly, Brown continues to be celebrated and held up as a star. Streaming services continue to make his music available, and a quick Twitter search of his name brings up thousands of accounts dedicated to defending his honour. His latest single, Freaky Friday, reached number one on multiple charts around the world – including in New Zealand, a country he is also banned from entering on account of his criminal charges.
As for the latest investigation, police don’t believe Brown had anything to do with the alleged rape. Yet, his previous crimes should be enough for us to never have to hear his name again. His continuing fame and relative success confirm our greatest fear when it comes to men and the power they hold – that it takes so much more than a woman’s pain to shake them.