46. Robyn Fenty

Dear Robyn Rihanna,

This is weird. See, I’ve spent several months trying to avoid writing much about or to you or Chris. I’ve mentioned you here or there. But not once have I addressed you, Chris or your 2009 like I’m about to do.

The reasoning is simple: When it comes to domestic violence, I see things through black-and-white lenses. If you do it, you’re wrong. If it happens to you, you leave. If you don’t, you’re further endangering yourself and the person who has abused you. Those are my personal beliefs, shared by many, followed by too few.

And that’s all I could think to say to you after I saw the infamous February 8th picture of your battered face. But hell, I’m sure you had heard that a million times, a 100,000 ways, 10 minutes into the news breaking. So I thought to myself, “What would one more voice screaming ‘Get out!’ help?” Right. Not much. You have to make those type of decisions on your own, for yourself.


Robyn Rihanna.

So why am I writing you? Because, in a few ways, you contradicted yourself during your 20/20 interview with Diane Sawyer. Don’t get me wrong. In moments, you were articulate, engaging and even exacting. You gave us some of the insight many were looking for, something Chris couldn’t quite give us. The interview exceeded every expectation I had for you, considering your age and the situation. You seemed wise.

But you fumbled over a few things, the most important of which, I want to try to clear up with you. You’d said that you couldn’t see yourself with Chris a few times in the interview. But when Diane asked you about the idea of getting back with Chris ever again, you left it “up to God” and the understanding that you don’t know what the future holds.

Those last two sentences contradict one another, and the latter is one that we all tend to use as a crutch too often. It’s clear that you love Chris, and had he made better decisions concerning your well being earlier this year, you’d still be with him in some state of fairytale, superstar-like bliss. But he didn’t.

Instead, he left you, Robyn, with a life-altering choice — to return to his side and face the music together … or to walk away.

For whatever reason, you chose to leave. There are plenty of people who’ll look at that last sentence and question why I said “for whatever reason.” Yet, the most important part of it is the succeeding words: “you chose.”

I don’t care if you, Rihanna, left because you had pressure on you from those who sell the products you endorse to do so. I don’t care if you, Rihanna, left because you had some epiphany about how your actions could help others from going back into abusive situations, which is what you said. I don’t care if you dipped because the sky was cloudy on a Sunday morning.

I’m just glad you, Robyn, chose life, without Chris.

And with any future decisions concerning Chris, I hope that you make that same choice again and don’t leave it to “not knowing what the future holds.” See, the God you know chose the canvass. He knows what you’re going to paint, but you’re still that canvass’ Picasso. In layman’s terms, He still gives you the ability to choose.

And if, at some point down the road, you decide that “with Chris” is a realistic possibility, know that that is not God’s choice, but yours, a stroke of your paintbrush. I hope that makes sense. And I hope that if/when that day comes that you have the renderings that Chris stroked on February 8, 2009 marked as reference points as to why you, Robyn, should choose life, without Chris.

There were a few other things in that interview that bothered me. But to me, their significance is outweighed by what has been done and what I’ve said in this letter. So this is where I’ll leave it.

Hoping you understand this,



22 responses to “46. Robyn Fenty

  1. Her interview took me back (a bit) to when I was 21. I would not have wanted to go on national TV and explain my lovelife to the world.

    I thought she handled herself pretty well and yet yes, I agree with you that it was clear she still loves the Bow-Tied Boy Wonder and wishes there was a way she could be with him without feeling the weight of her responsibility to young girls or fear of losing her corporate sponsors.

    Hopefully with age and distance, she will be stronger and stronger without him so that one day when she looks into a camera and says she doesn’t love him or want to be him… we’ll know it to be true. I wish her the very best and would not trade places with her for anything.

    p.s. For the last time, there were some super ignorant people on twitter who felt that she provoked him into doing what he did. Let me state again – bullshiggity on that. Nothing that comes out of my mouth warrants a man putting hands on me. But I’ll hop off the soapbox. Good article.

    • “Bow tied boy wonder” LOLLLLL!!!

      Like I’ve debated with Damon a couple times, I’m on the fence with this. I still love Chris Brown the artist…I don’t agree with what he did, but look at all the other celebs over the years who battered their darlings, i.e. Ike Turner, Eminem, James Brown, Evel Knievel, Tracy Lawrence…the list goes on.

      The point of it all to me is that people are people who will make people-like decisions. The worst of this situation is they are children who are forced to deal with unfamiliar adult territory in front of millions.

      Best of Luck Ri-Ri. Stay strong Chris. Bless y’all’s hearts.

      • @mo: I had a long heated debate with someone earlier today about Chris. And while I don’t wish him any ill will, I won’t be upset if he loses fans, record sales, etc.

        I won’t be upset if he actually sells. I just believe that the result will be a product of what people think of him, which at this point, isn’t too high and is more than deserved.

        I do hope that he grows as a person as well…

      • @Monica

        It was moi that Damon had a long heated debate with over this. I actually see things very much identical to how you see it. Do I think he was dead wrong for his actions, yes. But I also think he was a bull-headed kid who needs some serious guidance and direction and should be granted a second chance and not slaughtered in the media the way he has been over the last year or so. Like you said, there have been PLENTY of women beaters over the last half a century and none of them have taken the media whipping like Chris. And, in many cases, many of them were far worse in their stance and method on beating. I see what Damon is saying when it comes to physically putting your hands on someone, you don’t do it, PERIOD. But, there’s always three sides to a story and there’s only two people that know that third side…Chris and Rihanna are the only two people that know the TRUTH. I digress…

        • @jlbd

          I actually agree with your sentiment. Chris has taken a lot more than other women beaters (especially of the lighter persuasion) over the years. One person asked me what I think his album sales will look like — I said I think it’ll flop. People won’t rest until he “suffers” and the only way people can see to do it is to make sure his next album does horribly.

          I feel bad for him and what type of situation he had to be in to do that to her and I think he is sorry.

          Doesn’t mean she should take him back, but I also don’t understand why in the world the rest of the world thinks it’s ok for us to adminster our own “brand” of justice. I’m sure that boy is suffering everyday as is without all the extra.

          • @ASmith

            THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

            That’s ALL I’m saying….

            *e-hugs* 🙂

          • @asmith:

            I don’t feel all that bad for him considering what he did. I don’t chock it up to youth or inexperience, but rather that feeling of invincibility that Rihanna spoke of in the interview.

            And in his case, I think he’s gotten off fairly easy thus far. He could be locked up for a few years. Instead, he’s lost endorsement deals, some fans, has caught some deserved flack and has to pick up trash.

            *shrugs shoulders*

            And like I said earlier, that’s not me wishing any ill will on him. It’s just me recognizing that he’s fairly deserving of what he gets.

            He sells records for a living and if individual people decide that they don’t want to buy his records and he’s not as profitable as he once was… womp womp. That’s life. Make better decisions.

            If he sells better because of what’s happened, more power to him. But I have little sympathy for him for what he’s did.

      • I agree with you 100%

    • @onechele: I’m just glad that I didn’t look back at the Twitter timeline on Friday night… maybe that explains why a few of y’all have been so scared of what I might write…lol.

      The only reasonable provoking of laying hands on another adult is self defense. It’s clear that’s not what happened. End of story.

      And the people who are concerned with how or if she provoked him need to be left to stare at the Feb. 8th picture of her face for an hour or two with one question on their minds: Does the provocation matter?


  2. I will say that her PR team is 100x better than CB’s PR team. That is not to say that she did this for publicity, I think she did the interview because she needed to speak about the situation and until she did speak about it she wouldn’t be able to speak about anything else because this situation would always be brought up.

    I just hope that she doesn’t put her self back into a bad situation in the future. Based on personal experience, I don’t believe that men who abuse women can or will change. They can often pretend to be reformed for long enough to fool a woman in love but they never really change.

  3. And, let it be known that I truly feel that Rihanna made the best move to leave Chris alone. They both need time to grow up and reflect on their lives individually. She likely won’t have a problem moving on with someone else. But, somehow I think that whoever the next chick is that Chris Brown sports on his arm, she will likely take a beating (pun not intended) by the media for being with him. I don’t think that’s fair considering how young he was when this went down. Does anyone remember how Johnny Depp smacked Kate Moss around and trashed a hotel room years ago? Likely not, because the media has not sensationalized it and loves Mr. Captain Jack…smmfh!…

  4. I was wondering who would get a letter first. Ri-Ri or Sammy Sosa.

    Despite my own personal beliefs about the interview, why she did it or whether or not she was being completely honest, I can say the sheer fact she sat on national television and answered any question says a lot.

    I struggled to be honest with my close friends about my cluster-eff of a relationship and I couldn’t imagine what it’s like to be expected to do so via a national tv program.

    I agree with you, Damon, whatever was the catalyst for her decision to leave Chris, ultimately that was the right decision and I hope she sticks by it (though I empathize with wanting to stay…

  5. I don’t know about CB’s record sales suffering. At least down here in Atlanta, that man has more female support than he’s ever had. His concert has sold out (albeit at a smaller venue). I get so upset listening to the radio and hearing these young girls defend his actions and lambast Rihanna for doing the interview. For whatever reason, he beat her to the point where she was practically unrecognizable. That, in my book, is indefensible.

    I will say, however, that Monica’s right and that CB is being portrayed as the poster child for domestic abuse. I remember just a few years ago that Tommy Lee was in a bit of trouble for whooping on Pam Anderson. But that has passed and no one thinks anything of it. It’s a double standard that needs to be fixed. No woman beater is better than another.

    • ‘It’s a double standard that needs to be fixed. No woman beater is better than another.’


      My sentiments exactly.

      • @jlbd: You left off the rest: “No woman beater is better than another.”

        They all should be flambed on some level.

        • But keep those levels consistent with each other. Don’t excuse Tommy Lee and Johnny Depp just because there’s no pics to show the damage they did. If they did it, they should be dragged through the mud equally as Chris Brown or Chris Brown should be let off just as easily as they were.

          • @jlbd: Did Tommy Lee or Johnny Depp admit to any wrong doing or were they convicted of some crime? I’m being serious, too. I want to know…

            • Yes, actually they did. But the media did not run with it. Watch Kate Moss’s THS show on the E! channel, it’s lightly glossed over and I believe Johnny Depp had to pay some fines and even went to jail. And, I think you know that Tommy Lee admitted to smacking around Pam, that’s likely common knowledge…

  6. “when Diane asked you about the idea of getting back with Chris ever again, you left it ‘up to God’ and the understanding that you don’t know what the future holds…the latter is one that we all tend to use as a crutch too often.”

    “And if, at some point down the road, you decide that ‘with Chris’ is a realistic possibility, know that that is not God’s choice, but yours…”

    I think people fail to realize, while we do have freedom of choice, our choices in situations are not weighted 50-50. Many times God weights the choices differently to accomplish what He wants in a situation, because our choices affect others and their choices based on our choices and so on. Basically God knows which levers to pull to influence us to do what He would have us to do.

    So, if in 10 years, God looks at the big picture and decides “I need to accomplish X, Y and Z, and the best path to do so will be Rihanna and Chris getting married,” guess what? Things will happen to begin pushing them toward each other. Will Rihanna have a choice to get back with Chris at that point? Sure. Will it be 50-50? Nope…more like 99-1. Did Jonah have a choice to not preach in Ninevah after he got swallowed by that whale? Yup. But how likely was it he wouldn’t go preach in Ninevah after getting eaten alive? Not likely. Ultimately God wanted him to preach in Ninevah, and that’s what happened.

    God shapes our choices much more than most people understand. God is God and He is ALWAYS in control.

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