Star Magazine seems to suggest Rihanna had it coming

Star Magazine decided to take a different stance on the Rihanna and Chris Brown beating incident. In a desperate bid to separate themselves from the rest of the tabloids, they focused on Rihanna supposedly wanting Chris back with a cover story that read “I Still Love Him!” with bullet points “What made Chris snap,” “Why she can’t let him go,” “Still calling and texting.”

I assumed that was just Star’s way of selling copies and that the accompanying article would be less offensive, but I was wrong. It reads like a list of cliché’s blaming the victim, with headers like “What set him off” and “she can’t forget the words that made him snap… her shamed first love.” Inside, they focus on what made Chris angry as if Rihanna had it coming! It’s obnoxious, irresponsible and careless to say the least. Star should be ashamed.

Headline inside: Rihanna’s Shocking Confession to Friends: “I Still Love Chris.”

Subheader: Rihanna is still powerfully attached to Chris Brown and can’t forget the words that made him snap. As she recovers from her injuries, she continues to call and text her shamed first love – and friends and family fear she will never break free of him.

Inset text: “Rihanna says she doesn’t want to make Chris look like the villain in all of this,” an insider tells Star.

Bolded text above article: What set Chris off...
After the party, Chris and Rihanna drove off in his rented Lamborghini – but soon after, he got a text, reportedly from beautiful 16-year-old Russian fashion designer Kira Plastinina. When Chris, 19, looked at his phone, Rihanna tried to grab it from him to read the message, Star has learned.

“She was getting more and more furious and kept trying to take the cell away from Chris,” says a source. “He lashed out but didn’t connect, and that set her off even more. She was steaming!”

In the heat of the moment, Rihanna struck a deep, dark chord in Chris when she blurted out at him: “Stop it! I’m not your mother!” referring to the abuse he witnessed his stepfather unleash on his mom, Joyce Hawkins. “That just set Chris off,” says the source. “He started beating on Rihanna. He hit her several times in the face. She put her arms up to defend herself, but he was in such a rage, he actually bit them…”

Rihanna’s been missing Chris so much since that fateful night, she has actually reached out to him on numerous occasions, both calling and texting him with the message: “Miss you. Love, peace and hope u r ok,” according to a source.

[From Star Magazine, print edition, March 2, 2009]

Star does include the details of how Rihanna was found unconscious, but the way they focus on her role in the incident is unconscionable. They may have had a source for once, probably Chris himself, but why run that terribly one-sided account against a woman who was left unconscious with black eyes, facial contusions and a split lip? She got upset at a booty call so she had it coming, right Bonnie Fuller? Incidentally, this week Star is also running a fluff piece that’s incredibly sympathetic to Octomom.

Compare Star’s very slanted coverage about how Rihanna is somehow culpable in her attack to the staid way that People focuses on how Rihanna can recover as a victim of domestic violence and how her response is normal. It includes essentially the same information, that she still loves and cares for Chris, but it does it in a way that clearly communicates that this was an unforgivable act:

As for what ignited the Feb. 8 fight, a source, who knows them both, says “Jealousy. That’s usually what causes their arguments.” Even so, those who knew the couple were shocked by what reportedly happened that night. Explains the source close to Brown’s camp: “He just snapped and flew off the handle…”

Now it’s up to Rihanna to decide if he is the right guy for her. Though her feelings will not affect how (or if) the district attorney charges him, LA criminal defense attorney Jeffery Rubenstein says that many women in her position have taken their men back. “It’s extremely common for a domestic-violence victim to do what we would call ‘go backward,’” he explains. “The victim’s swelling goes down, they recover from their injuries and realize they still love their boyfriend or girlfriend and don’t want them to face trouble.”

Rihanna’s family hopes she isn’t so kind. “I would move on,” says her father. One of her relatives agrees: “I don’t want her to go back to him. I don’t think anyone does.”

[From People Magazine, print edition, March 2, 2009]

Meanwhile Chris Brown has enrolled in anger management classes. I guess that PR crisis firm he hired is good for something, even after he issued one of the worst non-apologies ever. The NY Daily News includes some quotes in their coverage of Brown’s anger management that may have come from Star Magazine’s “insider” about how Rihanna could use some classes too. I would say she needs counseling on how to pick a better man next time, and how to ignore some of the very hurtful things in the press.

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44 Responses to “Star Magazine seems to suggest Rihanna had it coming”

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  1. HEB says:

    geez Plastinina is still only 16?

  2. M.E. says:

    I got my magazine but haven’t read it yet. Thanks for the heads up. I’m going to cancel my subscription and tell them why.

  3. bros says:

    kira’s whole US venture filed for chapter 7 in january. guess no one liked her tacky clothes-all 12 US stores closed. so maybe she will think about going to college instead of vanity ventures with her father’s billions.

  4. Waldemar says:

    What i don’t get is this

    In the heat of the moment, Rihanna struck a deep, dark chord in Chris when she blurted out at him: “Stop it! I’m not your mother!” referring to the abuse he witnessed his stepfather unleash on his mom, Joyce Hawkins. “That just set Chris off,” says the source.

    That set him off? Because RiRi said she was not his mother he starts slapping??

    I don’t get it…but then again it is Star magazine

  5. czarina says:

    @M.E.–I think what you are doing is more effective than all the comments any of us could make here…the bottom line for tabloids like this is money, not moral outrage (unfortunately).
    If people cancel subscriptions or even e-amil to say they won’t spend another dime on this magazine THAT might actually have some reaction.
    The public should never underestimate the power of their dollar!

  6. Wonder Woman says:


    Rihanna meant it as an insult to him bc Chris’s mother was beat by his father therefore putting chris and his father in the same catagory , chris always wanted revenge for what his father did to his mother so comparing them as the same person must have been a major blow.

    I think its so easy to defend rihanna. everyone assumes his booty call texted him but shes a “16-year-old Russian fashion designer ” and he is a Musician. Musicians and fashion designers do converse so jumping to conclusions that it was his booty call is simply a speculation not a fact.

    Its obvious chris has a sad dark past and its sad he screwed up his life by beating the women who was suppose to love him, but in the sake of her making him feel that low she paid the price; ruinning his career but sky rocketing hers

  7. Aspen says:

    Uh…it’s easy to defend her because he beat the shit out of a tiny woman for pointing out that he was acting like a man…who…beat…the shit…out of women.


    No sympathy for that man. None. They can counsel his sorry ass in prison for his “issues.”

    The only issues I care about are hers. Here we have this beautiful soul so full of potential and talent and promise…and, like you, she’s going to defend this scumbag and try to whitewash what he’s done.

    Of course it’s easy to defend her. She’s the victim.

  8. czarina says:

    @WonderWoman–I don’t know what is more sad and pathetic–that you might really believe what you’re saying…or that the only thrill you could come up with for yourself was to try to get a big reaction from the people on this blog?

  9. BellaB says:

    @WonderWoman–Your time would be better spent taking grammar and spelling lessons.

  10. BellaB says:

    Oh, no. Am I going to get a beat down for stating the obvious? I am sure I deserve it. Heh.

  11. Wonder Woman says:

    czarina: NO…I dont look for a reaction just comment on what I think

  12. Wonder Woman says:

    BellaB: oh wow gee thanks I REALLY feel dumb now

  13. Wonder Woman says:

    Ill agree the last paragraph was harsh, so let me better explain myself.

    No women should be beat by their man, I dont believe rihanna diserved it, and I do agree what chris did was pathetic.

    But we are all human and we all can snap any time. Maybe its easier for me to relate how sensitive a subject is when you have witnessed your parents verbally/physically abuse each other. its a sensitive subject and when your spouce who is meant to love you uses it as fuel in an arguement… its pathetic on their end as well. Its pathetic she had to use that in an argument. I dont agree she deserved it but defenely instigated some type of reaction out of him. its sad that he gave into his anger and hurt her. He does need anger managment and a lot of mental help. But I cant say that he is all to blame in this matter, but he does take most of the blame for acting on his emotions and physically hurting someone

  14. CB Rawks says:

    “Rihanna meant it as an insult to him bc Chris’s mother was beat by his father therefore putting chris and his father in the same catagory , chris always wanted revenge for what his father did to his mother so comparing them as the same person must have been a major blow.”

    Are you f-ing crazy?!!
    That should have had the OPPOSITE effect!!
    That makes no sense at all!!
    How could he beat her, with the reminder of what his mom suffered?
    He obviously IS the same sort of person as his psycho father! Wake up!!

  15. Wonder Woman says:

    CB Rawks:
    Let me ask you a question… have you ever witnessed you parents hurt each other?

  16. Wonder Woman says:

    CB Rawks:
    I see where you are coming from but it affects people differenlty. Unfortunetly he took it as an insult while someone else would have took it as a wake up call

  17. Orangejulius says:

    Wonder Woman – the part I found offensive was the mention of her career skyrocketing while his is tanking. What? SHE isn’t paying the price, HE is paying the price, which is as it should be. It’s terribly sad that he had to suffer witnessing that abuse as a child, but that doesn’t get him off the hook. We could say that about all kinds of murdering psychos – oh, he brutally murdered her, but poor thing, he suffered abuse as a child. I definitely have some sympathy for that, but you don’t get a pass just because you had a rotten childhood. He still blew it, big time.

  18. NotBlonde says:

    Wonder woman: I saw my parents fight once-and only once. My father beat my mother after she had finally had it with his cheating. They yelled and fought back and forth until he eventually started hitting her.

    There is NO EXCUSE for resorting to physical violence. NONE. I don’t know if your parents tried to convince you of that when you were younger but no no, a thousand times no. Rihanna could have been beating him over the head with her shoe and her injuries would STILL not be justified.

  19. the original kate says:

    STAR magazine can suck it. what “set him off” is the fact that he is a violent man who evidently grew up in a violent home. if it wasn’t that comment about his mother it would have been something else, from rhianna or from his mama or a salesgirl in a store or a bad record review. men like that are looking for any “reason” to let out their anger and then blame everyone else for provoking it. we all lose our temper from time to time and take it out on those around us. but healthy people realize that and apologize. what is very telling to me is that after he beat her unconscious he ran away, leaving her there alone to possibly die proving he showed no remorse, had no “oh shit, what have i done?” wake-up moment. he was only worried about himself. i hope he gets the help he needs as well as jail time, and i hope she gets counseling and moves on.

  20. Wonder Woman says:

    Yes I understand that is why I corrected myself since I also thought that was too harsh to say.

    But please dont compare a murderer to a guy who beat his gf, that oo dramatic of a Comparison

  21. BellaB says:

    Wonder Woman–
    I hear you, you witnessed emotional and physical abuse between your parents.
    It does effect people differently, but there are patterns victims of abuse, and witnesses of abuse do suffer. They can justify things, that are just plain wrong.
    I am ER and Trauma RN. As another woman, I sincerely encourage you just to learn more about the awful thing you witnessed. Go on-line to read or talk to a counselor/doctor/nurse/spiritual advisor about domestic violence.

    You deserve to have relationships that are supportive and caring. It is hard for people who have been victimized by abuse to see the whole picture. It does change your reference point. Take care of yourself. Truly.

  22. Wonder Woman says:

    Okay you experianced that once in your life, I have dealt with it most of mine. Again, I never said what he did was right or that she diserved it, all I am saying is that she was expecting a reaction and she received the worst one, sadly. Sometimes if you push too far youll get whiplashed and that what happened in her case. being my own opinion, I dont place ALL of the blame on brown, they both took the fault in this escalating the way it did, as harsh as that might sound

  23. Wonder Woman says:

    thank you for not attacking me and taking a more delicate reaction, I am blunt about what I think and I understand most wont agree with my logic. However… I feel most people judge a situatoin that they never experianced. Seeing as I have experianced this situation of a dark past… its easier for too understand the frustration chris brown must of had, yet not agree to submitting into violence as he himself looked down upon. I see it as… if I loved someone and they used this as a source of fuel to hurt me, I would feel betrayed and disappointed with that person. I would probably walk away from the argument then again… who knows how you would react under that situation. I sympathize for them both. They both need mental help, rihanna has obvious self esteem issues and Chris has yet to be at peace with his demons. I dont mean to shock people, but I just point out different views. thank you for your advice though, I already made peace with my demons and family but doesnt mean I could ever forget it

  24. Holly says:

    You know Wonder Woman BECAUSE of the fact that you witnessed such things from your parents, that’s why you should just be quiet now. Your clear thinking on this issue has been tainted because of what you saw. You’re justifying an abuser’s behavior, and clearly, that means something is wrong with you. You’re defending an abuser. There is no excuse.



  25. Holly says:

    You’re too close to the situation to have a rational valid opinion, WW.

  26. notprfect says:

    @ Wonder Woman~

    I too was abused as a child and witnessed my parents physically fighting, with my dad winning because he was stronger and could slap my mom around more easily. Maybe she did say things to him to get a reaction. Maybe I did, too. Did I deserve to get beaten for it? Did my little 5’4″ mom? NO.

    EVERYONE should be allowed to SAY whatever they want and NOT expect to get beaten down for it. Words are JUST WORDS and violence is NEVER the answer to anything. It may make you feel tough to hit someone who has angered you, but it isn’t right.

    You know what Chris could and SHOULD have done to Rhianna for what she supposedly said to him? Kicked her ass out of the car and left her to her own devices. NOT beat the shit out of her and leave her there for dead. He never should have laid a hand on her. Beating someone up(especially someone smaller and weaker than you) is inexcusable.

    (OK, wait, ONE situation where *I* believe it’s justified to commit violence to another: When that person has killed a loved one of yours. I always like to watch the courtroom scenes where the family of the victim beats the shit out of the person who killed their family member. THOSE people deserve to be beaten, but that’s it, in my opinion.)

  27. Wonder Woman says:

    Holly: and your ignorant to this topic to make a comment. now what? It doesnt mean a person shouldn’t have the right to comment on something

  28. Wonder Woman says:

    I understand, I said it was not right what he did but it was not right what she said either. however it doesnt mean she diserved to get beaten.

    Plus you stated he should have kicked her out of the car? Didnt she take the keys from the car and threw them out of the window?

  29. pm says:

    I am stunned that you guys are even reading Star. Those tabloids run these type of stories because they know people will believe anything.

  30. Wonder Woman says:

    calling me tainted? No I Just have more knowledge about this subject then you probably do.
    justifying an abuser’s behavior: I only said I would understand his frustration but dont agree to his action.
    Stop being such a hot head and we can have a decent argument here

  31. gg says:

    “I dont agree she deserved it but defenely instigated some type of reaction out of him.”

    Sorry, but Rihanna is not responsible for “instigating” anything. Did Chris Brown’s huge, muscular self get injured?

    Your comments are exposing your skewed version of “logic”.

  32. Annie says:

    Chiming in here:

    Just because you’ve experienced it one way does not mean you can account for the rest of us who’ve experienced it another way as ntperfect has demonstrated.

    There is no excuse whatsoever to physically hurt the one you claim to love.

    NONE. And if you want to continue to make excuses and say that maybe something set him off. Go right ahead. But know that I really hope you never encounter a man with that kind of temper, because you might as well kiss your life goodbye.

    Don’t talk to me about blunt. I’m blunt. The difference here is, I’m not giving any excuse that may justify the BEATING OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

    “Who knows how you would react..”

    Umm. Regardless of what a person throws back in your face, you DON’T resort to violence. I definitely know how I WON’T react and I think most of the board will say the same. That they might not know if they’d say something or walk away or whatever, but they know that they wouldn’t deck the person and bite them and beat them unconscious.

    No excuse. Step off your soap box because your justifications are embarrassing and the implication that anyone who’s actually witnessed abuse would agree with you is utter Bullshit.

  33. Wonder Woman says:

    really… what makes your reply to me any different to what another has already said. I agree that he should have never toucher her. what are you trying to tell me? That I shouldnt think her reply was offensive bc it was, but I never said she had what was coming to her. they both have issues they need to resolve

  34. BellaB says:

    Dear Wonder Woman,

    There is never a justification for “going off the handle” or violence due to frustration and anger. Everyone, regardless of their past, needs to practice self-control when angered or stressed.

    Honey, do you think it’s right for someone to shake a crying baby because they are “about to snap?” {Yes, it is an over simplification. The point is, no matter what diarrhea comes out of someone’s mouth, you have to control your anger and frustration.}

    I can tell you are hurting because you continue to comment. The violence you saw did give you a different perspective and reality…you are looking at this thru a different lens. You are acting perfectly normal for someone who has had this experience, that is why the cycle of domestic abuse continues, generation to generation. Making peace and knowing what’s healthy and normal are two differnt things. Here’s a quick link to some myths about abuse.

    I hear what you are trying to explain, but I can’t validate your point because it’s not right. You are not a bad person or ignorant. You are a victim of domestic abuse. That is the only truth here. Be well, WW.

  35. Tanya says:

    The first apology that Chris should have made is to Rihanna and then to his mother. I am in support of his anger management classes which should be followed by a trek to Barbados where he should meet with Rihanna’s mother, father and grandmother. He should speak to family and express his sincere apology and what he is doing to ensure that it will never happen again.

  36. Wonder Woman says:

    I only continue to rely bc people seem to understand me wrong.

    I said: I understand how he would have felt hurt but I never said HE SHOULD HAVE HURT HER. I understand why he would snap but it doesnt mean it was right. whats so complicated about that?

    I was in a verbally abusive relationship, but after doing some soul searching I left him and I am much more happier. I broke the chain, there. I am not trying to make people pitty me, the reason I bring my personal experiances is bc its a subject i am familiar with.

    Please (not directed to you) stop assuming I felt she deserved what she went through, bc I dont.

    [bringing up shaking a baby was a really bad example.]

  37. Wonder Woman says:

    I think he should apologize and leave her alone. they are both only going to hurt each other.

  38. Wonder Woman says:

    LETS MOVE ON THEN, I think this is being blown out of context. I just feel for both, they both need a lot of mental help

  39. BellaB says:

    I can use the example of a shaken baby because I have taken care of victims of domestic abuse, from babies to the elderly.
    There are no shades of gray.
    Domestic violence is wrong. Physical or emotional abuse is wrong.
    When you have carried a dead baby from ICU trauma to the morgue, you cannot help but be an advocate for victims of abuse.

  40. Zoe says:

    @M.E.: god, that’s a great idea. Cancel the prescription and tell them it’s because of their stupid take on this story. I bet if everyone did that (and atually followed through) it would make a big difference. Good for you for doing it!!

  41. kc454 says:

    Wonder Woman

    I UNDERSTAND your point.

    In a perfect world a man would never hit a woman and always walk away, but that’s not where any of us live. He went off the deep end and YES it’s TRAGGIC, but he’s not PERFECT and people should stop expecting him or any other celebrity or athlete to be.

    I too witnessed DOMESTIC VIOLENCE as a child as my godfather would beat my godmother unconscious some weekends when I spent the night. She’d lay in the hallway unconscious for hours. My godbrother and I would piss outside because as 5 year olds, we were afraid to step over her body to go to the bathroom. He even stabbed her once. I always wondered why she’d argue with him knowing his tendencies, especially when he was drunk. She finally divorced him 30 years later.

    When I see women with violent men, I always wonder why? If a woman knows the man is capable of violence, then why date him expecting him to NOT act. It’s like teasing a mean dog and expecting not to get bit. It doesn’t make sense.

    I wish women would be more assertive like Queen Latifah “Put your hands on me and I’ll put your ass in handcuffs!” Sure men deserve to be checked when we mess up or get caught doing something stupid, and when you speak your mind, let us know a violent reaction won’t be tolerated and you’ll press charges. I’ve seen a lot of nasty fights where the man is about to get violent and the woman tells him “Go ahead and your ass is going to jail too, I promise you that!”

    His hand is raised, but that statement makes him reconsider. When you women knowingly deal with men with violent tendencies, you have to protect yourselves.

  42. Mairead says:

    I’m agreeing with what I think Waldemar was getting at, that it’s spurious BS to assume that Rhianna saying “I’m not your mother” referred to the domestic violence meted out to Brown’s mother growing up.

    It does sound like self-serving bullshit on Brown’s part to me. It could be that she said it meaning “I’m your girlfriend, not your mother, don’t brush me off” or “don’t talk to me like I’m your mother”.

    But as we’re not given the context for that sentence – if that’s even what she said. But it’s after that perceived slight against his mother he allegedly lost it and decided to shut her up with his fists and possibly the dash-board of the car. It doesn’t make him sound any more noble it has to be said.

  43. REIGN says:

    There is no excuse for Chris to have beaten Rhianna the way he did. The picture looks as though he beat her as if he was fighting a man and there is no excuse for what he has done regardless of what she may have said or done. I could care less if his career and image is tarnished because he did it to himself…everyone is responsible for their own actions.