Last Christmas, Chris Brown did not give you his heart – probably because he was too busy giving his daughter a pet monkey.
Yep, you heard me right. In a true display of ‘how the other half live’, the R&B singer gave his daughter, Royalty, a baby monkey for Christmas – nappy and all.
He posted a video of Royalty unwrapping her present on his Instagram page last year (2017), causing outrage amongst many of his followers who accused him of animal abuse.
And now it appears the present could land Brown in prison as The Dodo reports he’s been charged with two counts of illegally keeping a primate without a permit.
The Los Angeles city attorney’s office confirmed yesterday (December 28), the 29-year-old singer will be arraigned in court on February 6. If charged formally with the crime, he could face up to six months behind bars.
It’s perhaps not surprising this has happened. Immediately after posting the video last year, the singer faced a huge amount of backlash from people accusing him of animal abuse, and calling him an ‘idiot’ for giving a wild animal to his young daughter.
Although Chris later explained he’d bought Fiji for himself – inspired by his idol, Michael Jackson’s choice of pet in Bubbles the chimp – some people were still unhappy with the captive primate’s situation.
One user pointed out the ‘gift’ could be dangerous, dubbing it ‘animal abuse’:
What an idiot! This is animal abuse! Don’t you know that monkeys can get very agrressive [sic] when they are kept to [sic] long in captivity? What an excellent gift for a child this is…
Another Instagram user reacted to the video, writing:
Capuchin Monkeys are the most dangerous of the monkeys..ranked number 3 on Latin America’s 72 most dangerous animals..be careful you and your baby girl [sic]
While another fumed:
Not a TOY. A baby marmoset was ripped away from its other. this is a WILD animal that needs a very particular habitat and care. [sic]
In fact, some people were so angry with Brown, they reported his actions to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who opened an investigation into the singer.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for Brown’s residence, on the basis he never got the correct permit to own Fiji, but before his house was raided, he voluntarily agreed to surrender the animal.
This isn’t the first time Brown has been in trouble with the law.
In 2009 he was arrested and charged after assaulting his then girlfriend, pop star Rihanna.
Last year, the singer opened up about the violent altercation which led to the demise of his romantic relationship with Rihanna, admitting she was ‘spitting blood’.
In the documentary Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life, he recalled how a fight began after a woman he’d previously slept with turned up to a Grammy’s party in February 2009, causing Rihanna emotional distress.
Chris described how, on the way home, distrust grew and things turned violent, saying:
So now I’m gonna be mean and be evil. Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating sh*t. But then I really hit her. With a closed fist. Like I punched her, and it busted her lip. And when I saw it I was in shock, I was ‘F*ck, why did I hit her like that?’
So from there she’s spitting blood in my face, it raised me even more. It’s a real fight in the car, and we driving in the street. I’m like ‘Yo, we tripping, what the f*ck, what are we doing?’
…Me? I felt like a f*cking monster. A lot of the times, I look back at that picture and I think ‘that’s not me bro, that’s not me’. I hate it to this day, that’s going to haunt me forever.
If you are trapped in an abusive relationship or know someone who is suffering at the hands of domestic abuse, you are not alone. Please call the anonymous 24-hour National Domestic Violence Freephone Helpline on: 0808 2000 247.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).