July 20, 2009 / 10:25 PM / 10 years ago

Singer Chris Brown says ashamed of Rihanna attack

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - R&B singer Chris Brown issued his first full public apology on Monday for assaulting his then girlfriend Rihanna, describing his loss of control as “unacceptable, 100 percent” and asking for forgiveness from his fans.

Chris Brown faces his attorney Mark Geragos (R) as he appears in the Los Angeles Superior Court in Los Angeles, California March 5, 2009. REUTERS/Bob Chamberlin/Pool

Brown, 20, said in a two-minute video statement that he had wanted to speak out earlier but had been advised against it by his lawyers.

The singer of hits “Run It” and “Kiss Kiss” pleaded guilty last month to punching Rihanna in Los Angeles on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February. He is expected to be sentenced to five years’ probation in August.

“I have told Rihanna countless times and I am telling you today that I am truly, truly sorry that I wasn’t able to handle the situation differently and better,” Brown said in the video statement, made available to celebrity website TMZ.com.

Brown’s attack on Rihanna, 21, left the “Umbrella” singer’s face bloodied and bruised. The viciousness of the assault stunned both his fans and the music industry, where he had previously been seen as a role model, and it prompted heated debates on domestic violence involving young men and women.

Brown said he had done a lot of soul-searching since the incident, knew he had let down his fans, and was seeking help to ensure that he never repeated such behavior.

“I am very sad and very ashamed of what I’ve done,” he said “As many of you know, I grew up in a home where there was domestic violence and I saw personally what uncontrolled rage could do.

“What I did was unacceptable, 100 percent ... I hope that others learn from my mistakes. I intend to live my life so that I am truly worthy of the term ‘role model’,” he added.

A week after the incident, Brown issued a statement saying he was sorry and saddened over “what transpired” but did not acknowledge having beaten Rihanna, whom he had been dating for about a year. They split up after the fight.

Brown is due to be formally sentenced on August 5 after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors in June that avoided a trial and a possible four-year prison sentence.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant, Editing by Sandra Maler

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