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Rihanna and Chris Brown, the face-off that wasn’t


Going into Monday’s criminal hearing for R&B singer Chris Brown , the buzz at the court house centered on the possible testimony of Rihanna , who was Brown’s grihannairlfriend in February when he assaulted her in a rented Lamborghini on the eve of the Grammy Awards. But Rihanna and Chris Brown never faced off in court.

Instead, Brown pleaded guilty to assault and left the court room through the front entrance. Moments later, Rihanna was shown into the court through the back door. She was dressed all in black, and came in wearing sunglasses and pearls around her neck. She set a black hand bag down on a chair, took off her sunglasses and stood listening as Los Angeles Judge Patricia Schnegg explained the terms of the stay-away order she had just issued against Brown. 

Schnegg told Rihanna that the order is “really two-ways,” meaning that Rihanna must stay away from Brown just as he must stay away from her. She also said that the two must remain at least 50 yards apart, which is reduced to 10 yards if the two are attending the same public event. Schnegg also told Rihanna that, after Brown completes his required domestic violence courses, if the pop diva wants to make the terms of the stay-away order less restrictive, the judge would consider that.

Minutes before, Rihanna’s attorney Donald Etra had told the judge that his client would be happy with a less restrictive protective order, which does not set a specific distance that Rihanna and Brown must be apart. Schnegg opted for the stay-away order instead, but did not say why she set that standard.