[From Associated Press]
R&B singer Brown to face charges he hit wife
The Associated Press - ATLANTA
R&B singer Bobby Brown will be in court Wednesday on charges that he hit his
wife Whitney Houston in the face.
Brown, 34, is scheduled to appear before Fulton County Magistrate Judge
Barry Zimmerman for a preliminary hearing. The outcome of the hearing will
determine if there is enough evidence to go to trial on the misdemeanor
Brown has described the Dec. 7 incident as a "little spat." In an interview
with Dateline NBC, he said he and Grammy-winning singer Houston were goofing
around and that he did not hit his wife.
"I'm not saying it was made up. It was just, like, we play like that. We
play slap box," Brown said in the Friday interview. "That's what we do, and
you know, I guess one she just took it a little serious, and she'll tell you
the same thing."
Brown was unavailable for comment on Tuesday. An automated message at the
singer's Alpharetta home, which he shares with Houston, stated the voicemail
box was full.
Houston's publicist in Los Angeles, Nancy Seltzer, did not immediately
return calls, and attempts to reach Houston were unsuccessful.
According to a Fulton County Police Department report, Houston called
authorities Dec. 7 and said she and Brown had been in a fight at their home
about 10:20 p.m.
Houston, 40, told police that Brown said he was going to beat her "and then
struck the left side of her face with an open right hand," the report
"The victim had visible injuries to her face which included a bruise on her
left cheek approximately 1 inch in diameter and a cut upper lip on the inner
upper left portion of her mouth," the report says.
No arrest was made because, according to the report, Brown left about five
minutes after the incident to catch a plane to Los Angeles.
Brown addressed the report's specifics in the Dateline interview, saying, "I
got big hands, man. I would hurt her, you know? It would be more than just a
little cut on the lip."
Simple battery is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Normally on a first offense in domestic-violence cases, the charge is
dismissed if the defendant undergoes counseling.
Brown's attorney, Vincent Dimmock, did not immediately return messages left
by The Associated Press Monday and Tuesday. A receptionist indicated the
attorney was out of town until Tuesday afternoon.
Brown has been jailed twice this year. In February, he spent a month jail
for multiple probation violations before being released a month early for a
March child-support hearing in Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, he spent another night in jail before paying more than
$60,000 in back child-support payments.
Brown and Houston have been married since 1992 and have a 10-year-old
daughter, Bobbi Kristina.
4 MAY 2004