CALIFORNIA, United States, Monday March 23, 2015 – Six years and assorted misadventures since Chris Brown pleaded guilty to attacking Barbadian superstar Rihanna, his probation is over and the case is closed.
On Friday, Brown and his attorney Mark Geragos hugged in the courtroom and again in a courthouse elevator after Superior Court Judge James R. Brandlin said Brown had completed community labour requirements as part of his felony assault case and officially closed it.
“IM OFF PROBATION!!!!!!!! Thank the Lord!!!!!!” Brown tweeted, following the hearing.
The Grammy-winning singer had been under supervision by court and probation officials since the brutal attack on his then-girlfriend Rihanna over the 2009 Awards weekend.
The headline-grabbing incident led to immediate fallout for Brown, with a drop in demand for his music and several cancelled concerts, and his career has only recently shown positive signs of recovery.
Since 2013, the 25-year-old recording artiste appeared to have struggled to complete his community service obligations. His probation was revoked in January after he performed in Northern California without permission.
On that occasion Geragos claimed partial responsibility, telling Judge Brandlin that his office had inadvertently told Brown he could travel without permission.
In 2013, prosecutors questioned whether Brown had complied with the terms of his community labour sentence, and Judge Brandlin briefly revoked his probation over a hit-and-run case filed against the singer over a fender bender.
The recording star went on to strike a man outside a Washington hotel and was charged with misdemeanour assault.
Ordered into rehab, Brown was subsequently dismissed from the facility for violating its rules and spent two-and-a-half months in custody, with US marshals shuttling him between Los Angeles and the nation’s capital for court hearings.
The apparently troubled R&B singer underwent domestic violence and anger management counselling, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and complications from substance abuse.
He nevertheless eventually completed his community labour sentence, which involved manual labour such as graffiti removal or roadside clean-up.
After the final hearing last week, his attorney said he “couldn’t be more delighted.”
“He is in a spot right now and a place right now that I couldn’t be prouder of him,” Geragos said of Brown. He said Friday’s hearing was “a monumental feat for him.”