About the time Brown was scheduled to be singing “Forever” onstage at Los Angeles’ Staples Center, he was instead detained by police, being questioned for allegedly roughing up Rihanna.
Brown, 19, turned himself in at the Wilshire station around 6:30 p.m. and was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats. The case will now be sent to the district attorney’s office and further charges could be filed. He was released from jail after posting $50,000 bail.
Sources tell said that the alleged victim was Rihanna, 20, and that she suffered visible bruises on her face during an altercation that took place hours earlier. Both in turn balked on scheduled Grammy performances.
A spokeswoman for Brown’s label declined comment. Rihanna’s publicist, Amanda Silverman, would only say that the 20-year-old “Disturbia” singer was involved in an unspecified traffic mishap. “Rihanna is well,” the rep said. “Thank you for concern and support.”
Per department policy, police declined to identify the alleged victim in the incident, which occurred about 12:30 a.m. in the Hancock Park area, apparently as the two were heading home from Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy bash, where they had been all smiles.
In a statement, police say Brown and his companion “became involved in an argument. After stopping his car, Brown and the woman got out and the argument escalated. The woman suffered visible injuries and identified Brown as her attacker.”
By the time officers arrived on the scene, Brown had split.
Rihanna, whose full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, decided against singing a medley of “Disturbia” and “Live Your Life” at tonight’s awards. Likewise, Brown scrapped his scheduled performance of “Forever.”
“We’re sorry she is unable to join us this evening,” said the Recording Academy. A virtually identical statement was issued for Brown’s absence.
Brown and Rihanna were up for dueling Pop Collaboration With Vocals awards, Brown for his duet with Jordin Sparks on “No Air,” Rihanna with Maroon 5 for “If I Never See Your Face Again.” Brown was also contending for Male R&B Vocal Performance for “Take You Down.”
Backstage, Anthony Hamilton, winner of the Traditional R&B Vocal Grammy with Al Green, said his pal was pressed into emergency service “about an hour and a half before the preshow.”
Green crooned “Let’s Stay Together” with assists from Justin Timberlake and Keith Urban.
Asked if old-pro Green really was able to take the stage on such short notice, Hamilton suggested the R&B icon was practicing last night.
Said Hamilton, “He knew something could happen.”