Wrigley drops Chris Brown after conviction

Thu Aug 6, 2009 6:59pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Chewing gum maker Wrigley said on Thursday it had ended a commercial deal with R&B star Chris Brown, following his guilty plea on charges of assaulting former girlfriend and pop star Rihanna.

Brown had been a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song "Forever" was part of Wrigley's advertising campaign.

Following Brown's February arrest on suspicion of attacking Rihanna in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy Awards, Wrigley said it was "concerned" by the allegations against him.

Maintaining that Brown, 20, deserved due legal process, Wrigley said at the time it was suspending its commercial featuring the singer until the matter was "resolved."

But with Brown pleading guilty in June to punching Rihanna until she was bloodied and bruised, Wrigley said on Thursday it had "ended" its deal with the singer.

Brown, whose hit songs include "Run It" and "Kiss Kiss," agreed in his plea to serve five years probation and perform 180 days of community service in his home state of Virginia.

Wrigley's disclosure came a day after a judge delayed a sentencing hearing for Brown to make sure his punishment included physical labor such as road cleanup.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham)

<p>Chris Brown attends his sentencing hearing with attorney Mark Geragos (R) in Los Angeles August 5, 2009. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian/Pool</p>