As R&B singer Chris Brown once again faces accusations of assault, it seems as though everyone is eager to weigh in on the situation.
As it stands, a 24-year-old woman named Deanna Gines claims she was assaulted by Brown on Saturday night in the VIP Section of Heat Ultra Lounge in Anaheim, Calif. According to Gines, she was in the middle of a verbal altercation with another woman when Brown stepped in and deliberately “shoved her to the ground” causing her to fall hard on her knees.
Gines also claims she went directly to the hospital, where doctors said she may have to undergo surgery to heal the badly torn ligaments in her knee. In a photograph obtained by TMZ, Gines can be seen wearing a knee brace and apparently relying on crutches for support. In an interview with TMZ reporters, Gines stated that she has already obtained a lawyer and filed a police report. She went on to say that she is fully intent on seeking justice by pressing charges against the singer.
This is certainly not the first time Brown has been accused of short-temperament and physical aggression. In 2009 Brown infamously attacked his then-girlfriend Rihanna on the eve of the Grammys, leaving her with noticeable facial bruises and sparking a national discussion on abusive relationships and domestic violence. Brown is still on felony probation for the assault.
More recently, the singer was involved in an altercation at a recording studio with Frank Ocean, and was also supposedly part of a bottle-smashing fight with Drake earlier this year. While both events were widely reported, no charges were filed in either case.
In response to Deanna Gines' current allegations, Chris Brown took to Twitter to defend to defend himself by writing, "@TMZ please stop with the false stories. I don't usually comment but I didn't do anything. Had a great show at powerhouse and a positive one."
However, the tweet was deleted almost immediately and Breezy followed up with a more ambiguous, "#positiveenergy."
Brown's representative told reporters today that she is "unaware of the incident, as is Chris' lawyer and his entire team. None of this makes any sense." She also added that she is receiving reports from the club owner stating that "this never happened."
At present, with both parties presenting mutually exclusive narratives, there is simply not enough information to assess the validity of Gines' accusations. If the incident did in fact take place in the VIP section of the nightclub, we would hope to hear from eye-witnesses or even uncover video surveillance footage as the police investigation progresses.
However, the lack of evidence has not stopped the Twitterverse or major media outlets from declaring Brown's guilt or innocence. Those who cannot forget the images of a battered and beaten Rihanna are not surprised by these allegations and have no trouble believing that Brown is guilty. Others, including Brown's remaining fans, are rushing to his defense by calling Gines a gold-digger in search of her fifteen minutes of fame. Some TMZ Live reporters have also been quick to judge Gines, suggesting that her story simply doesn't add up.
While it is possible that Deanna Gines' allegations are exaggerated or even wholly false, it is (thankfully) not the job of TMZ or any of us to determine whether or not that is the case. Our tendency to rush-to-judgment is yet another symptom of our hyper-polarized society where opinions are formed before sufficient factual evidence is gathered. And for most of us, once we form an opinion, it is exceedingly difficult to admit that we were wrong.
Ordinarily I would ask you to share your thoughts on Chris Brown's guilt or innocence, but I realize that would just perpetuate this practice of blindly formulating opinions. Instead, I respectfully ask you to consider withholding judgment until we learn more facts about this case. Who knows, maybe if we can begin to erode intransigence in pop culture, there may be hope for our political system after all.