Chris Brown is not unfamiliar with the long arm of the law for a back catalogue of serious crimes.
But a recent spot of monkey business could land him in hot water with the authorities. The RnB singer outraged Instagram observers when he gave his daughter, Royalty, a pet monkey named Fiji for Christmas.
He posted a video of the animal, clad in a nappy, cradled by his 3-year-old daughter:
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…
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.
Another Instagrammer, jazzminannell, 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
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.
It seems some observers were so angry at Brown they reported his actions to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to law enforcement, who have now opened an investigation.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for Brown’s residence, on the basis he never got the correct permit to own Fiji, but before Chris’ house was raided, he voluntarily agreed to surrender the animal.
Still, the singer could be charged with having a restricted species without a permit, a misdemeanour which carries a maximum of six months in jail. The case has been turned over to the L.A. City Attorney.
Mark Geragos, who is representing Brown, ranted to TMZ:
As I leave my office in Downtown L.A. and walk past people sleeping on the street on my way to defend people charged by the City Attorney with selling medical marijuana… now spending taxpayer money on investigating monkey business.
This completes the circle on his absurdity.
Couldn’t agree more.
Meanwhile, in a documentary released earlier this year the rapper opened up about the night he assaulted then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.
You can watch the admissions in the footage below:
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Speaking in Chris Brown: Welcome to My Life, he said:
She starts going off, she throws the phone ‘I hate you!’, whatever, whatever. She starts hitting me, we’re in a little Lamborghini. You know, she’s fighting me, and I’m like ‘Look, I’m telling you the truth, I swear to God, stop it.’
So then she hits me a couple more times. It doesn’t go from translation to ‘Let’s sit down, I’m telling you the truth.’
So now I’m gonna be mean and be evil. Like I remember she tried to kick me, just like her beating shit.
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***, 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 fuck, what are we doing?’
Brown claims Rihanna then grabbed his crotch while scrambling to get his phone, so he bit her on the arm while he was driving, before pulling into Los Angeles’ Hancock Park.
…Me? I felt like a fucking 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.
While the admission of domestic violence is a brave one, and the desire to rehabilitate after committing an atrocious act upon a loved one is admirable, this documentary stinks of a money-making self-aggrandising PR stunt from Chris Brown’s team.
The video of his daughter’s monkey on Instagram on the other hand is just another case of PR gone horribly wrong.
Meanwhile, Fiji is okay, unharmed and safe from millionaire rappers.
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.