Wrigley suspends Chris Brown, Rihanna silent

Mon Feb 9, 2009 6:20pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Chewing gum makers Wrigley on Monday suspended a commercial featuring Chris Brown after the popular R&B singer was arrested on suspicion of attacking a woman widely reported to be his singer girlfriend Rihanna.

The clean-cut Brown, 19, one of the fastest-rising stars of the last two years, was free on $50,000 bail, a day after the couple hurriedly canceled separate performances at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Both the Brown and Rihanna camps were silent on Monday. Police sources told the Los Angeles Times and celebrity Web site TMZ.com that the woman who reported she had been attacked by Brown in the early hours of Sunday was 20-year-old Rihanna, singer of hits "Umbrella" and "Disturbia."

Wrigley said in a statement it was "concerned by the serious allegations" made against Brown, who was booked by police on suspicion of making a felony criminal threat.

The company said that while Brown should be afforded due legal process "we have made the decision to suspend the current advertising featuring Brown...until the matter is resolved."

Brown, who was competing against Rihanna in a Grammy category, was a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song "Forever" was part of that advertising campaign.

Brown is also a pitchman for the long-running Got Milk? campaign, in which celebrities are photographed with a milk mustache. The Milk Processor Education Program said his participation was scheduled to end this week, as planned.

"The Milk Mustache campaign is taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously," the Washington, D.C.-based trade group said in a statement. "We are very proud and protective of the image of the Milk Mustache campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens."   Continued...

<p>Musicians Chris Brown and Rihanna perform during the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York in this December 13, 2008 file photo. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files</p>