Eight years after the incident, Brown is showing contrition over his actions, and he opened up about his terrible mistakes in his new documentary, Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life. From the sound of things, the relationship with Rihanna was turbulent from the very start, and he said that while the infamous fight in the car was bad, it was not exactly a departure from their everyday life.
"We would fight each other, she would hit me, I would hit her, and it never was okay. It was always a point where when we would talk about it, like yo, what the fuck are we doing?" Brown said. "Me, I felt like a fucking monster."
Brown talked about the relationship between the couple from his perspective, explaining that a lie he told about his sexual history led to the fracture of their trust. That set the scene for the fight they got into during a pre-Grammy party in 2009, allegedly over a text Brown received from another woman.
Though Brown highlighted violent things Rihanna did in the car that night, ultimately he looked back and felt deep regret over what happened.
"I really hit her, with a closed fist, I punched her, and busted her lip. And when I saw it I was in shock," he said. "From there, she just spit in my face, spitting blood on my face, so it enraged me even more, it's a real fight in the car ... a lot of the times I just look back at that picture and I'm just like, that's not me bro, that's not me. I hate it to this day. That's going to haunt me forever."
It should haunt him forever, because treating anyone like that, let alone someone you claim to loved and want to marry, is straight up unacceptable. But the larger problem with Brown's assertion over how bad he felt is that this so-called "haunting" has done little to impact his treatment of women in the years since the Rihanna incident. Karrueche Tran was granted a five-year restraining order against Brown just this June, with a judge weighing evidence of abuse from Brown in a court setting. A man who claims to be haunted by his past domestic violence would probably not be saying, "Bitch I will beat the shit out of you," as Brown reportedly did to Tran through text message.
You can watch the video of Brown discussing the Rihanna abuse below, and maybe you'll buy that his contrition is genuine. Still, it should give you pause when supporting any new music of his, like his new single, "Questions." Along with the song, he announced his album Heartbreak on a Full Moon will be released on Oct. 31 (Halloween).