Earlier this week, Chris Brown was briefly taken into custody in Paris over a rape allegation. As The Daily Beast previously reported, “The 24-year-old alleged victim, identified only as ‘Miss. K’ in court documents, told the French tabloid Closer on Jan. 22 that Brown, his bodyguard, and a third man raped her in Brown’s hotel room after they met at a club. She claimed that while there were several people in the hotel room at the time, Brown barricaded her in another, smaller room while he and the other men allegedly assaulted her.” Brown was quickly released without charges. According to the New York Times, the Paris prosecutor’s office has stated that the investigation is ongoing.
On Tuesday evening, the controversial R&B singer took to Instagram to dispute the anonymous woman’s allegations, posting the words “THIS B!TCH LYIN’!” In the caption, he continued, “I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR…… THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP! NNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!! FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!” Brown subsequently deleted the post.
On Wednesday, TMZ quoted Brown’s Parisian lawyer, Raphael Chiche, saying, “Chris Brown is free. No lawsuits were filed against him. He vigorously challenges the charges against him. A complaint for slanderous denunciation will be filed tomorrow with the public prosecutor of Paris.” The Hollywood Reporter obtained a copy of the complaint, which reportedly seeks “a criminal prosecution for the ‘slanderous accusation.’”
Meanwhile, the anonymous accuser’s lawyer, Franck Serfati, told The Associated Press on Friday that his client was “not pressured physically,” but rather cornered in an “environment with great psychological pressure.” He continued, “There were forced sexual relations and then he went to talk to other men—it was a masculine environment.”
Now, Brown is responding to his latest arrest with a merchandise drop. Specifically, his clothing line Black Pyramid is advertising a “new Paris edition” of the “This Bitch Lyin’” tee. Black Pyramid posted the $38 shirt featuring an image of the Mona Lisa on Instagram one day ago. Comments on the post include, “Make her suffer,” “Profit off that lie,” and “I know to many people it will seem like it’s ‘too much’ but did the girl think it was too much to cry rape?... Chris is just trying to make his coins.”
As Complex pointed out, this is not the first iteration of this vile design. Back in 2016, Brown posted a picture of himself in a shirt from his Black Pyramid brand, bearing the same slogan. That post was seemingly in response to a charge of assault with a deadly weapon against accuser Baylee Curran, which Brown has denied. An XXL blog post at the time announced, “Chris Brown has turned his recent legal troubles into a merch opportunity.”
Suffice to say, habitually selling merchandise that appears to be attacking your alleged victims is an unspeakably ugly pattern. If you regularly make headlines not just for allegedly abusing women, but for attempting to turn a profit off of their deeply disturbing accusations, you’ve got a problem.
The Daily Beast has previously reported on the numerous allegations against Brown. In 2016, senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon explained, “Brown has had six Top 20 singles, released five new albums that have sold nearly 2.5 million copies in the U.S. alone, led world tours, been nominated for 11 Grammy Awards—winning one—and been nominated for 27 BET Awards, winning 11. This is all, by the way, after assaulting Rihanna.”
A later Daily Beast article summarized actress Karrueche Tran’s restraining order against ex-boyfriend Brown, in which she alleged that Brown “physically abused her over the course of their on-again, off-again relationship. Tran, who began dating Brown in 2011, claimed that Brown punched her in the stomach and pushed her down the stairs. ‘He said if no one else can have me, then he’s gonna ‘take me out,’’ she further stated in the documents. ‘I have text messages from December 2016 to January 2017, where he’s made several threats, including beating me up and making my life hell.’ At the time of these alleged assaults, Brown would have still been on probation for physically abusing his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.”
Brown’s urge to monetize his bad behavior becomes even harder to swallow in light of the fact that the singer doesn’t seem to be hurting. In fact, the entertainment industry has given little indication that they intend to quit Chris Brown. Following his Paris arrest, a number of influential stars publicly defended Brown. Meek Mill bemoaned that his friend’s “life could of [sic] easily been ruined from this!”
T.I. told TMZ, “There haven’t been any overwhelming facts to show me what he’s saying is not true.” He continued, “The climate of society right now is empowering victims, which is phenomenal. ... But, y’all gotta also realize that it’s also arming people who have malicious intent and vindictive natures to go after people undeservedly, like there’s a flipside to it.” Justin Bieber opined in Chris Brown’s Instagram feed, writing, “No one can touch you ur the GOAT.”
According to Complex, RCA Records, which only just recently parted ways with R. Kelly, announced a new deal with Brown earlier this month.