“How many single ladies we got in here tonight?” Chris Brown announced onstage at The Forum in Los Angeles on Friday night. “Well, I’m single too. Fuck that bitch.”
Yes, all you not-so-lucky ladies out there: The R&B performer best known for viciously abusing his ex-girlfriend Rihanna is single, and ready to mingle. Later that night, he was photographed with 19-year-old Kendall Jenner (of the Kardashian Klan), who seems to be quite fond of Brown, on his lap.
Later that night, Brown’s ex, Karrueche Tran, posted the following message on her Twitter:
She followed it up with the following Instagram post:
“Once you find strength within yourself, it's hard to allow any type of bs around you. I refuse to be repeatedly mistreated especially by someone who claims to love me. That's not love. And if that's what you define as love then I don't want it. Yes, I have not been so smart before in the past but I made a promise to be a better and stronger woman and I'm keeping that promise. If you can't love me the right way, then don't love me at all. Don't be mad at me because I prefer to be happy. Keep love in your life folks. Not just love between people but love within your HEART, flowing in all aspects of your life. I promise life is so much better ❤.”
Then Brown, not to be outdone, posted the following message on Instagram:
“We've got scars, some of them u gave me, some of them I've caused. That ride or die act we have been fooling the world with obviously ain't working. I was locked up for damn near 4 months and only got 1 visit from you while u was hosting parties and taking secret trips to Toronto, going on dates with Drake! When this relationship first started u knew what it was and even participated in threesomes. I slowed all that shit down. So let's not try to save face for public opinion because I don't need to play victim so people can take my side. All these celebrity niggas ain't shit and focus only on themselves. I made it clear to the world who my girl was and made your life equal to mine even at the cost of me not focusing on my career at times. So miss me wit the bullshit. Now yall know the real.”
Here’s a bit of backstory. Brown began dating aspiring model Tran in 2011, two years after he assaulted and hospitalized Rihanna. However, throughout their relationship, there were persistent rumors that Brown was also still seeing Rihanna. In November 2011, just prior to the release of his sophomore album Take Care, I spoke with Drake at New York’s London hotel restaurant about recent rumors that Brown had elbowed him in the face over Rihanna.
“I respect Chris Brown. I’d like to call myself a friend—I don’t know if I’m allowed to do that,” Drake said. “But I definitely didn’t get elbowed in my face. Somebody would’ve got knocked the fuck out.”
Then, on June 14, 2012, Drake and Brown were involved in an incident at WIP nightclub in SoHo where their entourages threw bottles at each other, leading to facial lacerations on Brown’s chin and several injured patrons, including San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker. Drake wasn’t arrested, but was rumored to have helped sparked the melee by mocking Brown over his past fling with Rihanna (Drake briefly dated her after the assault). A few weeks later, Brown released a Drake diss track with the line: “This head up, my bread up, one on one, what you scared, bruh? / Matter fact, take care bruh, you a pussy nigga.”
Three months later, in September 2012, Brown stepped out with what appeared to be a neck tattoo featuring Rihanna’s battered face, but was later alleged to be a Mexican Day of the Dead tattoo. Then in October, he announced his split from Tran, telling Us Weekly: “I have decided to be single to focus on my career. I love Karrueche very much but I don’t want to see her hurt over my friendship with Rihanna. I’d rather be single allowing us to both be happy in our lives.” And the very next day, he released a video entitled “The Real Chris Brown,” which saw him speaking the following in voiceover over flashing images of him, Rihanna, and Tran:
“I’m just stressed out. It ain’t about the music, I love my fans, it’s just that when you share a history with somebody and you tend to fall in love with somebody else, it’s kinda difficult… “Is there such thing as loving two people? I don’t know if it’s possible, but I feel like that.”
Then, in January 2013, Rihanna confirmed that she and Brown were indeed back together, telling Rolling Stone that she could “take the backlash,” but if he messed up again, it would be curtains.
“He doesn't have the luxury of fucking up again,” Rihanna said. “That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility… He made a mistake, and he's paid his dues. He's paid so much. And I know that's not a place he would ever want to go back to. And sometimes people need support and encouragement, instead of ridicule and criticism and bashing.” By May, Brown and Rihanna had broken up again, and the following spring, she was rumored to (again) be dating Drake. By that point, Brown had rekindled his romance with Tran. Things even seemed to be smoothed over with Brown and Drake, with the two appearing in a hilarious sketch this past July at the ESPY Awards mocking their beef.
On November 26, however, reports began surfacing online of photos of Brown sleeping, as well as his apartment—allegedly taken by a groupie who’d slept with the star. And here we are.