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PITTS: Rihanna-Brown abuse case is all too familiar for some of us

  • (Donna Grethen / Tribune Media Services)

Dear Robyn Rihanna Fenty: I was maybe 7 years old when this happened.

My old man had been kicked out of the house for being an abuser and a cheat. Now, here he came a few days later, begging forgiveness. Mom wouldnt open the door, so he pleaded his case through the mail slot, promising to do better, promising to change. Mom stood firm. I, on the other hand, stood bawling like, well ... a kid who missed his Dad. He saw that and he worked me like a 9-to-5 job.

Dad, I want you to come home, I wailed.

I want to, he said, but your mother wont let me.

So naturally, I turned on her. Mom, why wont you let Dad come home?

Still she held out. Finally, he left our door. We knelt on the couch and watched him walk toward the car. Halfway to the curb, though, he was seized by some dark impulse that wheeled him around and sent him hurtling toward the window. I ducked before he kicked it in.

Mom didnt.

She took him back not long afterward. And he beat her on a regular basis until the day, about eight years later, terminal cancer rendered him too sick and weak to do so. Ive always regretted whatever part my caterwauling played in influencing her to let him come back home.

Ms. Fenty, I know youve got a lot of people in your business right now, each with an opinion about how you should run your life. I would not be surprised if you are fed up with it. I would only beg you to put that emotion aside and try to hear what you are being told: If this guy did what you say he did, you need to drop him like a hot rock.

This guy, of course, being your boyfriend, singer Chris Brown.

Last week, court papers were released detailing the alleged Feb. 8 altercation between the two of you. They tell how you and Brown, 19, were in a Lamborghini, leaving a music-industry party in Beverly Hills, when you confronted him about a text message on his phone from his old girlfriend. How he allegedly told you he was going to beat the expletive deleted out of you when he got you home. How he allegedly pushed your head against the window, punched you with his right fist while steering with his left. How you pretended to be on the phone with your assistant and asked her to call the police. How he said, You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now Im really going to kill you! How he allegedly choked you, threw your phone out the window, put you in a headlock, bit you.

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