EW spoke on the phone with Donald Etra, attorney for Rihanna, shortly after it was announced that Chris Brown pleaded guilty to felony assault in a Los Angeles courtroom today.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was this a verdict worked out between the D.A. and defense counsel?
DONALD ETRA: The plea agreement was worked out between the District Attorney and defense counsel, yes.
And is it something you are pleased with?
The district attorney advised us of the plea earlier this afternoon, and Rihanna had no objection to the plea.
Was she planning to testify in compliance with the subpoena?
Yes. She was at court and she was ready and willing to testify. As of this morning, our understanding was Rihanna would be called to the stand.
This separation agreement — that they have to be 50 yards apart, unless they are at an event, in which case it’s 10 yards — can you elaborate on that?
Yes. The judge issued a stay-away order requiring Chris to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna and to have no contact with Rihanna. If they happen to be at the same industry function, then the 50 yards becomes 10 yards. But the no-contact order still is in effect.
And is that permanent or does it have a time limit? Will it be revisited?
The current order lasts for 5 years, although the judge said that after Chris is sentenced in August, she would consider reducing the full stay-away order to a limited protective order. Rihanna requested that there only be a protective order, namely that Chris be ordered not to annoy, molest, or harass her. Rihanna did not feel that a stay-away order was necessary in this case.
Is it your opinion and the opinion of Rihanna that the sentence is punitive enough?
Rihanna feels it’s a fair and just resolution to the case.
And does she have any desire to communicate with him outside of the bounds of the no-contact order?
Rihanna understands the terms of the protective order and of course will comply with those terms.
Is it your feeling that everyone is ready to move on or will there be further civil suits involved?
At this point, this terminates the criminal proceeding, in so far as a preliminary hearing or trial. What remains is sentencing, and then various court appearances for Mr. Brown to show that he’s complying with the terms of the sentence.