HMV Sells Chris Brown 'Fortune' Album with Warning Sticker: 'This Man Beats Women'
No one can accuse British retailer HMV of false advertising. Copies of Chris Brown's latest album, "Fortune," were recently sold in UK stores with an advisory sticker reading, "Warning. Do not buy this album. This man beats women."
Brown was charged with felony assault in 2009 after he physically abused his then-girlfriend Rihanna. According to police reports, Brown repeatedly punched Rihanna until her mouth filled with blood, and then choked her until she began to lose consciousness the night before the 2009 Grammy Awards. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years' probation, as well as community service and domestic violence counseling.
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It's unclear how the stickers got on copies of "Fortune," Brown's fifth studio album, but Gigwise reports that there are believed to have been placed on the CD cases by anti-domestic-violence activists.
Despite negative reviews, "Fortune," which was released in June, debuted at number one on the album sales charts both in the UK and here in the US.
Brown and Rihanna's relationship has been a tumultuous ride since the couple's breakup. On the Aug. 19 episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" Rihanna sat down with Oprah and discussed her relationship with Brown.
In the interview Rihanna broke down in tears while revealing she thinks of Brown as the love of her life. "I still love him," Rihanna told Oprah, while softly crying. ""I think he was the love of my life. He was the first love and I see that he loved me the same way. We were very young and very spontaneous."
"We've just worked on it little by little. And it's not easy." And, that means that sometimes they have run-ins with one another, including a highly publicized encounter at a party in France earlier this summer. "Yes I did [see him]. We went to a mutual friend's party on a yacht. It's awkward because I still love him ... my stomach drops, and I have to maintain this poker face and not let it get to the outer part of me," she said. "I have to maintain that and suppress it. When you don't understand those feelings you can make a lot of mistakes."
"I truly love him - the main thing for me is he's at peace," she explained. "I'm not at peace if he's not happy or he's still lonely. I care. It actually matters that he finds that peace."
Rihanna explained during the interview that her own anger for Brown was a mirror image of the feelings she held for her father. After she "repaired" her relationship with her dad she could then forgive Brown.
"I have forgiven [Brown]. It took me a long time. I was angry for a long time. I was resentful. I was dark. It was coming out in my music. It was coming out in my attitude. It was heavy," she said, explaining that she would push men away before she let go of all the negative events from her childhood, including watching the abusive relationship her father had toward her mother.
"I thought I hated Chris and I realized it was love that was tarnished. It looked like hate because it was ugly, it was angry, it was inflamed, it was tainted and I realized that what it was is," she said. "And the minute I let go of that, I started living again."
The interview left British domestic violence charities fuming.
Erin Pizzey, the founder of the Refuge in the U.K., told The Independent, "This sends out a very dangerous message to teenagers that roller-coaster relationships with violence-prone personalities are edgy and exciting. They're not. The relationship is toxic and unhealthy. Both are in need of help and that is the message that young people should be receiving."
After the interview, the 23-year-old R&B singer then reportedly texted Rihanna after watching her cry on national television, apologized, and confessed his love to her. "Afterwards he got some water and was like 'you know I love her and we're going to get back [together] one day.' After that, he sent her a text and thanked her for respecting him on the interview and he told her we was sorry for everything, and that he loves her," a source tells HollywoodLife.com.
Breezy's mother however, didn't feel the same butterflies during Rihanna's recounting of Brown's abuse. Forty-four-year-old "mother/manager" Joyce Hawkins took to her Twitter account, tweeting clichés about the merits of telling the truth while Rihanna's episode of "Oprah's Next Chapter" aired, seemingly trying to defend her son.
While the stickers no doubt underline a serious issue, you have to question the motives at work here. Plenty of celebrities indulge in deplorable personal activities every day that public is all too aware of, and they're still blindly supported almost no matter what, the list is just too long. So what is so special about Brown he needs singling out?
HMV has not commented on the stickers found on Brown's albums in its UK stores.