Lawyer: Rihanna to testify against Brown if called
|In this Feb. 7, 2009 file photo, Rihanna arrives at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, Calif.|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Rihanna's attorney says the singer would testify against Chris Brown if called as a witness in her boyfriend's assault case. Donald Etra, who is representing the 21-year-old Barbados native, said Friday that Rihanna would be required by law to testify if prosecutors subpoena her.
Etra appeared in court Thursday when Brown made his first appearance on charges of assaulting and making criminal threats to his superstar girlfriend. Brown's arraignment was postponed until April 6.
Etra said Rihanna did not want a "no contact" order issued against Brown, but that she will report any violations of an order prohibiting the 19-year-old singer from threatening, harassing or harming his girlfriend. A court order grants her the authority to record any violations of the order.
The order is not uncommon in cases where a victim says he or she doesn't want to completely cut off communication with a person, said Steve Cron, a Santa Monica criminal defense attorney who has represented celebrities such as Paula Poundstone and Scott Weiland.
"There are limits to when you can record phone calls and conversations," Cron said. "She can record those conversations if it's for the purpose of showing there's a violation of the restraining order."
Etra said Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, wants the case over with quickly. "She wants to get along with her life and career," he said.
Brown was arrested Feb. 8 stemming from an altercation that police say he had with Rihanna in a car in an upscale Los Angeles neighborhood.
A search warrant affidavit filed by a Los Angeles police detective described a brutal fight in which Brown allegedly punched, bit and choked Rihanna until she nearly lost consciousness.
He issued a statement a week after the incident, saying he was "sorry and saddened" by what had happened. He politely answered a court commissioner's questions during his brief appearance Thursday, but did not speak to reporters afterward.