You must know by now but just in case, and because there are so many strands of information flooding in, a quick recap first:

Rihanna and Chris Brown attended the Clive Davis party together on Saturday night. By all accounts, they were happy, very affectionate, betraying no signs of what was to come.

Have heard from multiple sources inside the event that they were seen leaving together around midnight holding hands. He was rubbing her arms at one point when she passed by a draft. Still all good.

Shortly after it unravelled.

Brown was travelling in car, was involved in an argument with an unidentified woman, violence erupted, she called the cops accusing him of beating her, and he took off. When the police arrived, they noted that the woman had “visible injuries”. They have withheld the woman’s identity and will not be releasing the 911 tapes.

The LA Times this morning is naming Rihanna as the alleged victim. Most news outlets implied it last night but did not take the extra step in openly identifying her.

The Times however, citing LAPD sources, is confirming everyone’s suspicions. Rihanna is supposedly bruised in the face and there are also unsubstantiated reports that she has bite marks on her arm.

Chris Brown has been charged with making criminal threats while authorities have explained that he is being investigated for domestic violence felony battery and could be charged with more later.

In theory it’s supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. In theory. In practice, most people have convicted him already. It’s hard to argue with the optics of the situation.

The wording “domestic” violence implies the relationship. Also the fact that they were together just minutes before the incident went down. And that they both bailed on the Grammys. More telling though – that Rihanna still has not been seen. (things could change any time today – keep refreshing).

Why is this significant?

From a PR perspective, if she wasn’t hurt, if she’s not the victim, you put her out there ASAP to show that she’s healthy and beautiful and perfect. Because you know what people are saying. And if it’s not true, the quickest way to stamp that sh-t out is to give the paps a clean shot.

But Rihanna remains undercover. The longer she remains undercover, the worse it looks on him. The buzz last night at the Grammys, the adjective being used, is not “hit”. It is “beaten”.

Some stories you take more personally than others. I talk sh-t about celebrities all day. To a certain extent, you become immune to the scandal, numb to the smut. But this, this one is heartbreaking. I feel real sadness, and this from someone, right or wrong, who doesn’t feel much sadness or empathy or compassion for celebrities, like, ever.

As you know, I love(d) Rihanna and Chris. Something about their playfulness, their youth, the promise, with so much ahead of them, enjoying it enthusiastically together – it’s intoxicating that kind of vitality and exuberance. And totally irresistible.

But it can happen to anyone. Even the girl with the world at her feet.

They say Rihanna’s official explanation for skipping the Grammys was a car accident the night before. Many of you have emailed, worried that she might be covering for him, that she’s not stepping up and speaking out about violence against women – if this is true.

I’m thinking maybe not give her an agenda until she’s sorted her sh-t out?

On the flipside, how about those amazing messages people keep leaving in the comments section of mainstream sites, like, that somehow she must have deserved it…!

I hate people.

People out there are f-cked up. Being a crazy fan can f-ck you up.

If he did it, he is worthless. Period.

If he did it, there is no excuse. Never.

I hate people. It’s one of those days.

File photos from