I'm glad that Chris Brown finally issued a public apology for assaulting Rihanna. Yes, I know he released a public statement last February where he said he was sorry for what transpired. But "what transpired" is too vague when referring to a felony assault charge.
He needed to release a direct video statement like the one that surfaced on TMZ Monday.
It was in Chris' best interest to make as few comments as possible to prevent any further legal damage. As police officers say when reading a person his Miranda rights, "Anything you say can and will be used against you."
Even though his silence contributed to the public speculation about the chain of events that occurred between Chris and Rihanna on February 8, it was a sacrifice worth making. As it stands now, next month Chris will be formally sentenced to serve 5 years of probation, 6 months of community labor, and to stay away from Rihanna.
Chris is lucky he does not have to serve jail time.
I actually feel much better after watching the video. I feel like the 20-year-old pop star is sincere in asking for forgiveness. "I have told Rihanna countless times, and I'm telling you today that I am truly, truly sorry, and I wasn't able to handle the situation both differently and better," Chris said on camera.
Chris explained that he wanted to speak out earlier, but was advised by his lawyer not to do so. He admitted being embarrassed by his actions which negatively reflected on his mother and "spiritual teachers." He also acknowledged that God had blessed him with a talent that had afforded him fame and fortune. He promised that he would never let anything like this happen again.
In two minutes, Chris Brown said exactly what he needed to say.
But I'll tell Chris what my father told me whenever I apologized for making a mistake. "Don't say, 'I'm sorry, just don't do it.'" Clearly, actions speak louder than words. Hopefully, Chris will get the rehabilitation he needs so that he can prevent ending up in a predicament like this again.
His career should not end because of this horrible incident. However, he has to be prepared to deal with the repercussions that come along with his actions that fateful night.
He's already suffered many consequences: lost endorsement deals, missed award shows performances, and even tributes to his late idol, Michael Jackson. He now has a criminal record, must serve probation, and live with the stigma of being one of the biggest teen phenoms of the new millennium who appeared to have it all, but ruined it. He will forever be the butt of Ike Turner, Rick James, and Joe Jackson-like jokes.
In watching Chris' video, it is clear that he has taken some time over the five months since the incident to realize the impact of his decision.
No one is perfect. All of us make mistakes. But if we don't learn from them, we don't grow.
Hopefully, Chris will grow.
My only concern is that his record label is ready to put out new album asap. Seizing these moments to market a new project is always perceived as gratuitous.