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  • Chris Brown and Rihanna at the Grammys. Do they look like they've grown up?

    Chris Brown and Rihanna at the Grammys. Do they look like they’ve grown up?

    Rihanna has forgiven Chris Brown for the vicious beating she received on the eve of the Grammys in 2009, why can’t everyone else? He’s still the poster boy for domestic abuse and can’t seem to shake the image of a hotheaded abuser.

    His recent behavior certainly hasn’t helped. He got into a fight with singer Frank Ocean over a parking spot and refused to stand when everyone else did when Ocean won his first Grammy.

    But Brown insists he has changed and claims people don’t know the real him in a new interview with London’s Mirror newspaper. “Other people can judge us but they don’t know anything,” he says.

    “ I’ve learned a lot since that night and I’ve grown up. I was very young and I took a lot of stuff, fame, for granted. I didn’t understand it. The support from those who do know me and the fans, who are incredible, got me through,” he added.

    He calls the beating the “greatest regret” of his life. Yet he’s still condemned in public and the butt of jokes at events like the Oscars.

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    His appearance at the Grammys was nothing if not uncomfortable and special accommodations had to be made so he didn’t sit too close to Rihanna or Ocean or rapper Drake.

    Rihanna has become his biggest champion. “It’s different now. We don’t have those types of arguments any more,” she said in a recent interview. Indeed, part of the accommodation she’s made is to let Brown stray with other women.

    He spent NBA All Star week with Kerruche Tran, whom he dated before getting back with Rihanna and still sees on the side. The fight in 2009 began after Rihanna saw text messages on Brown’s phone from one of his booty calls.

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    That fact is, Brown, despite his regret, is still a powder keg who could explode at the slightest provocation. And there are still serious questions whether he can manage his anger.

    Recent allegations that he falsified his community service work, required as part of his sentence for the assault, shows contempt for the fact that he was punished for what he did.

    Domestic abuse is really about power, and forcing your will on someone else. As long as Rihanna remains totally submissive, she’s may avoid another nightmare. But don’t count on it.

    Domestic abuse is a pervasive social problem that exists at all levels of society and statistically speaking most abusers don’t change. Brown could be the exception to the rule. But don’t hold your breath.