In an interview conducted in 2007 and now released in the April 21 issue of Vibe, embattled singer Chris Brown discussed his troubled past – foreshadowing the R&B star's current controversy, which saw him plead not guilty to charges of assault and criminal threat against his girlfriend, Rihanna, in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday.
"My mom had a boyfriend that was abusive domestically so watching that as a kid, it used to haunt me," he reportedly said in the interview, conducted at Maze restaurant in New York City hotel The London in June 2007. "Not haunt—but eat at me. I used to want to really hurt the dude."
Brown has been pressed with felony charges over an alleged violent incident in the early morning of February 8 of this year, where he allegedly bit and hit Rihanna, leaving her hospitalized.
A photo of the "Disturbia" singer, believed to have been taken shortly after the alleged attack, leaked onto the Internet and portrayed her with numerous bruises.
But back in the summer of 2007, Brown was showing off his tattoos, explaining how they represented his struggles.
"Then this one, these is ninjas, darkness to light," he said, pointing to a tattoo on his arm. "It's about my life, me being a kid, being bad, doing the wrong things, but following my own path; darkness to light, doing my own thing. This is the demons I used to fight when I was younger— this is the angel, they just battled."
And what were Brown's demons? A difficult family life that allegedly saw his mother become the victim of her abusive boyfriend. Still, his mom stayed with the man.
"Probably 'cause she loved him," Brown said. "I hated him. That's why in relationships I vow not to be that person because seeing that as a kid, you inherit what you see, so I promised myself, I'm not gonna be that dude. I'm never gonna be that person that takes the argument that far. I wouldn't wanna put a female or child in that position, being that terrified."
At the time of the interview, the star denied dating Rihanna.
"Rihanna's real cool; Rihanna's a good girl, like, friend," he said. "Not a girlfriend."
"She's a good person, a sweet person," he added. "We were on the same radio shows, so I'd see her all the time."
Instead, Brown wanted to devote himself to his career.
"She's fine!" he admitted. "If I was going to date, I'd date somebody in the industry. They understand the time and effort it takes to focus on oneself, so we could understand each other and where we're coming from. But where I'm at with my career right now, I'm just trying to be focused on that."
Noting that "you never can believe the media, especially tabloids," Brown maintained a squeaky-clean image until this year's events – something he was well aware of in 2007.
"Being young, you always have to have a wholesome image," Brown said that day at Maze. "But I'm not perfect, nobody's perfect. I'm just a regular guy. I don't try to try to pretend like, 'Oh, I'm so nice, I'm such a God.'"
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