When I learned that Chris Brown had released a statement via his publicist that he had broken up with longtime girlfriend Karruche Tran because he didn't want her "to be hurt by his friendship with Rihanna," I slammed my head on the desk so hard, I thought about suing #teambreezy for damages.
Not really, but despite the looming inevitability of a Chrihanna reunion, I had really hoped that I had edited, written or read my last piece about the two and their relationship. Alas, that was not to be the case. In this era of oversharing and a culture of 'celebrities walking and breathing=news,' it wasn't enough for dude to just break up with his lady and quietly get back with his ex…he had to explain to us that he was breaking up with his lady because of this paper thin non-admittance that he's dealing with his ex, as a friend.
Likeliest story ever.
Alas, in some capacity, Chris Brown and Rihanna have a significant presence in each other's lives once again. Or, they always did and now they feel enough time has passed since the beatdown (that you can't mention without being accused of being a manhater or robbing Robyn of all her agency or just bringing up old stuff) that they can be public with their friendship. Or something else all together.
Welp, it is what it is. In the past three years, the story of these two young people has provided some serious teachable moments around domestic violence, repentance (and the lackthereof), redemption and how abuse can be passed down generation to generation; we've also shed light on some horrifying cultural attitudes around victim blaming (if you told me before Grammy night '09 that so many people thought of West Indian women as fiesty-to-the-point-of-deserving-a-beatdown, I would not have believed you) and accountability.
I'd like to believe that a lot of people learned something from all of that. I'd love to believe that the once and (maybe) future golden couple can be counted in that number. I am still put off by homeboy's behavior in a way that makes me really hope that the Bajan beauty is not doomed to relive what was surely one of the darkest periods of her life in search of the happiness she once experienced with him. I really do believe people can change and even former abusers can become good, loving partners…with professional help and support and accountability. I hope he got some of that, I hope he got a lot and is gonna keep getting it for a very, very long time. And her, too.
But at this point, we've pretty much unpacked all we can. Regardless of what writers and activists and bloggers and fans may feel about the things Brown has said and done, this young lady is set on having him in her life in some capacity. Ain't nothing any of us can say that's gonna stop this train, so it just seems that the best approach is to wish them well and hope for the best. And remind the young and impressionable that this is not vindication for what Brown did and that just because Rihanna allowed him back into her life doesn't mean that this should be standard procedure for when someone abuses you.
Barring some major incident, I don't see the value in discussing this relationship in great detail anymore. I wish them (and poor Karruche…poor Karruche) the best of luck and I just hope that somebody, somewhere took something of value from what has been an uncomfortable spectacle for far too long.
Jamilah Lemieux is the News and Lifestyle Editor for EBONY.com. Views expressed here are her own.