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Sources connected with Rihanna and Chris Brown say there is friction in the two camps - and while no one has been pummeled unconscious (yet), peeps are at each other's throats over whether Rihanna and Brown should be seen in public together.

Rihanna's PR people are said to be on high alert to make sure no one gets a photo of the alleged battery victim and the alleged maniac felon together.

They believe at this point it would be "extremely damaging" to her career.

This may explain why video surfaced earlier today on TMZ of Rihanna leaving a club around 4:00 a.m. this morning, with Chris Brown nowhere in sight.

On the flip side, with Brown angling for a plea deal to let him off the hook, his people want nothing more than to show that he and Rihanna are tight.

Obviously, letting celeb gossip sites run some pics would do that.

And then there's this: A number of people who interact with Rihanna both personally and professionally want her to cut Brown out of her life for good.

They resent him and are outraged at what he did. Not hard to believe!

For their part, the newly-reconciled Brown and Rihanna are said to be working on a duet - which, ironically, is about overcoming challenges as a couple.

Brown's manager, Tina Davis, who reportedly sent a three-age "booty call text message" that triggered the February 8 incident, is nowhere to be found.

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As we reported yesterday, Rihanna and Chris Brown have been participating in secret, late-night recording sessions - ones that have been jam-packed with emotion and serious drama, along with some playful touching. Yes, we are serious.

The idea for the duet arose when they decided to get back together shortly after the February 8 incident in which Brown "allegedly" used Rihanna as a speedbag.

Necklace Malfunction

Music producer Polow Da Don convinced both Chris Brown and Rihanna to get in the studio and record a love song ASAP, stressing that timing was important because the heightened emotions would translate powerfully into the music.

Both Rihanna and Chris agreed and snuck in a couple of "late night" sessions that TMZ says were "very emotional ... the feeling in the room was pure love."

Is it good to see Rihanna and Chris Brown collaborating again?

Nothing like a mad dash to cash in on felony assault and criminal threats. Time may heal all wounds, but the almighty dollar heals them faster, apparently.

As for how they got along working together, a source says the two stars were "playfully touching each other." Presumably, no open-hand slaps were involved.

The song was originally written for just Rihanna, but after the intense walloping Brown administered, the producer believed the track - which ironically focuses on overcoming difficult challenges as a couple - would be an ideal duet.

No word on whether they will dedicate it to Tina Davis.

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Celebrity news sources say that Tina Davis, Chris Brown's manager, has been ID'd as the woman behind the text message long believed to have triggered the fight that left Brown charged with a pair of felony offenses and Rihanna beaten senseless.

Davis allegedly sent a three-page text message to Brown's cell phone that sent Rihanna flying off the handle and caused Brown to respond with brutal force.

Davis, who turns 40 this month, was rumored to have had a relationship with Chris Brown when he was only 16. Brown and Davis have denied this took place.

However, the detective's affidavit in the assault case refers to the text message as being "from a woman who Brown had a previous sexual relationship with."

Was Chris Brown cheating on Rihanna with manager Tina Davis?

Law enforcement sources say the text message to Brown talked about hooking up later - and it royally pissed off Rihanna, who slapped and hit him in a jealous rage.

He retaliated, to put it mildly.

Tina Davis could not be reached for comment.

No one can say for sure whether Chris Brown - who is seeking a plea deal with no jail time - is fully on the same page with Rihanna after everything that happened, but the lovebirds are reportedly working on the same track.

Literally! The seemingly reconciled duo is working on a duet that Brown is hoping to include on his new album, which is due out later this year, a studio source dished to E! Online. "They've been working on it together," the insider says.

Wonder if his manager/possible past lover set the duet thing up. Our guess is probably not. In any case, click to enlarge more photos of Tina Davis ...

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According to reports, Chris Brown is looking to cop a plea, but only to a misdemeanor and with no jail time, in the assault and criminal treats case against him.

TMZ reports that Brown's people have consulted with outside legal advisors - including law school professors - who have opined that Rihanna's own aggressiveness in the February 8 incident takes it out of the felony category.

Sources say that in fact, Rihanna was the first one to strike - slapping and striking Chris Brown "numerous times" while he was driving his rented sports car, after seeing the "booty call text message" he got from another woman.

Rihanna was fighting Brown as he punched, choked and threatened her. Much of this is even reflected in the police report based on what Rihanna told authorities.

As a result, some feel this is not a case that demands a felony plea.

Can Chris Brown possibly escape with no jail time?

On the flip side, there are plenty of cases in which the woman engages the man in a physical altercation but the jury convicts the male anyway, as it represents an unfair fight and the man could have simply walked away.

Brown did walk away - but only after beating her nearly unconscious.

The infamous photo of battered Rihanna - one less graphic than some which haven't been seen by the public, police say - proves Brown's superior strength.

Add to that the fact that Brown had no significant injuries and it presents problems for him. Perhaps even worse for Brown, sources tell TMZ Rihanna told cops he had beaten her before and his violent streak had been escalating.

Oh, according to the search warrant papers, Brown sent a text message to Rihanna's assistant in which he apologized for what did and said he was getting help.

That could be admissible and damaging in court - as a legal admission.

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The Hollywood Gossip staff members do not fashion themselves celebrity fashion and makeup experts. Our business is celebrity gossip, not mascara.

However, we suspect that, just maybe, "Light up Your Eyes" may not have been the best tagline for a new Cover Girl ad starring pop star Rihanna.

Rihanna was, of course, beaten up so hard by Chris Brown that her eyes were partially swollen shut. We're just saying. Oh, "allegedly" beaten, sorry.

Rihanna Cover Girl Ad

While we await word on whether Rihanna will testify against Chris Brown, at least we know where we can go for makeup to disguise deep facial bruising.

Follow the jump for another ad Cover Girl has released with a more generic headline - possibly having realized the unintended double entendre above ...

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She may not have a choice.

Despite the Rihanna-Chris Brown reconciliation a few weeks after his allegedly brutal assault on her, lawyer Donald Etra says the 21-year-old singer could wind up on the stand in the felony assault case against her boyfriend, like it or not.

"She is planning to do everything that the law requires her to do," Etra told celeb news magazine Us. "If she is required to testify, she will do so."

She is almost certainly not eager to, though.

Rihanna was not present Thursday as Chris Brown, 19, briefly appeared in court after being charged with two felony offenses (assault likely to cause great bodily injury and making criminal threats) in the now-infamous Feb. 8 incident.

Rihanna Us Weekly Cover

Rihanna did not request a restrictive order that Brown stay away from her, and Etra said his client has provided no comment on the outcome she wants in the case.

"The fact is, what Rihanna desires most is that it be quick and expeditious," he said. "She wants to get back to her life and her career. She is doing fine."

"She really appreciates the love and support of her fans."

The attorney declined to comment on reports that Brown is currently taking anger management classes, and dismissed questions about the new shocking details of the case. On rumors that Rihanna was pregnant at the time, Etra said:

"We are not going to discuss that. Rumors are just gossip. There is no point. Idle rumors are gossip, for which there is no basis."

Brown, who is free on $50,000 bail, is due back in court April 6.

Whether Rihanna testifies against him or whether there will even be a trial in this case remains up in the air. His lawyer is surely trying to get a plea deal worked out.

But regardless, should she stay with him after all that happened?

 

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Shortly after Chris Brown arrived in an L.A. courthouse for his arraignment on Thursday to face two felony charges in connection with an alleged February 8 attack on Rihanna, further proceedings were postponed until April 6.

He did not enter a plea.

During the short session at the L.A. Superior Court, Brown signed a waiver stating that he understood that his attorney, Mark Geragos, would be appearing for him when the arraignment continues in four weeks.

The singer - wearing a gray suit with a light gray tie and matching vest - stepped out of a black SUV Escalade 3:30 p.m. PST before entering the building.

Meanwhile, attorney Donald Etra was representing Rihanna, who did not appear at the arraignment, and he said that she asked him to attend on her behalf.

"The victim is entitled to be represented at all proceedings," he said.

The court commissioner, Kristi Loustau, offered a "Level 1" protective order for Rihanna, which is the lowest level of a stay-away order for the victim.

"You are not to annoy, harass, molest or use any form of violence against anyone," Loustau told a solemn Chris Brown during the court hearing.

More news and Chris Brown photos after the jump ...

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Rihanna sings, in one of her many hits, "please don't stop the music."

Unfortunately, her abusive maniac boyfriend will now have to face it.

The L.A. County District Attorney has just pressed charges against Chris Brown: felony assault and making criminal threats, also a felony offense.

Court documents name "Robyn F." as the alleged victim.

The real name of Rihanna - who told cops Brown had come after her before and that his attacks were getting more violent - is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.

Brown is scheduled to be arraigned today at 3:30 p.m. in L.A.

The singer could face a maximum of four years and eight months in prison for the alleged February 8 attack on girlfriend Rihanna if he is convicted.

Meanwhile, newly-leaked police notes from the scene, which FOX 11 in L.A. claims it obtained, say Brown punched, bit and threatened to kill Rihanna.

According to the news station, Rihanna read a lengthy "booty call text message" from a woman on Brown's phone, which led to a heated argument.

Chris Brown allegedly tried to force his girlfriend out of the Lamborghini he rented for the Grammys, and hit her head against the passenger window.

Brown punched Rihanna while still driving, so hard that blood filled her mouth, then said "I'm going to beat the ---- out of you when we get home."

Rihanna called her assistant - or pretended to - and left a message saying, "I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there."

The leaked police notes say that call (fake or not) prompted Brown to reply: "You just did the stupidest thing ever. I'm going to kill you."

Brown bit and put Rihanna in a headlock; she almost lost consciousness.

The couple officially got back together in Miami Beach last weekend.

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Chris Brown is scheduled to be arraigned today, and some say even if Rihanna refuses to cooperate with prosecutors, the D.A.'s case may have evidence even more powerful against him than the gruesome photo going around.

Multiple law enforcement sources say that the night of the attack, Rihanna told cops she was the victim of escalating violence - and the perp was Brown.

LAPD cops interviewed Rihanna after the attack and she told them Brown had attached her in the past and that the attacks were getting "more violent."

Basically, it was not the first time, and it was worsening.

The interview is potent evidence if the L.A. County D.A. charges Chris Brown with felony domestic battery, and that could happen as early as today.

Whipped Chris Brown

These two are somehow back together again.

And there's a scary, secondary factor: The photo TMZ obtained showing the face of Rihanna battered, bloody and bruised is mild compared to other photos.

Additional pictures were taken on February 9, the day after the attack, and they are even more gruesome - the bruises and swelling far more pronounced.

These photos show injuries that could be devastating in a case against Brown, who was arrested for allegedly making criminal threats. Sources say the D.A. will review that allegation as well as felony domestic battery.

Brown is scheduled to make an appearance in court today. It will be interesting to see if the D.A. files charges tomorrow and if Brown is arraigned. If so, it will be especially interesting if Rihanna shows up with him.

The police photo of battered Rihanna appears after the jump:

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Following their heartwarming reconciliation in Miami last weekend, Rihanna is now reportedly refusing to press charges and/or testify against boyfriend Chris Brown.

He was arrested for "allegedly" assaulting her February 8.

Thunderbird

The Los Angeles District Attorney and investigators have been working overtime to try to build a case against the singer, but no charges have been brought forth against Brown, who is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow (March 5).

Now it looks like their biggest hope is now backing down.

A file on the case, including Rihanna's initial statement to police as well as witness accounts, was to be handed to the L.A. District Attorney this week.

Even without Rihanna's help, California law allows prosecutors to charge him with domestic violence, battery, criminal threats, even attempted murder.

But the question is: do they have evidence to make a felony stick, or is there a chance Brown will be let off the hook or merely slapped on the wrist?

As far as the couple's reunion in Miami on Saturday, it's rumored that Rihanna and Chris Brown did more than just work out their differences.

According to a report by Star magazine, he may have proposed to her.

The celebrity news magazine says that Chris Brown apologized for treating her like a speed bag, begged for forgiveness, and proposed on the spot.

NOTE: The speed bag bit was us, not Star. But have you seen that Rihanna pic?

"All she's ever wanted was to be with him forever," a source said. "Rihanna is looking for the husband-and-two-kids deal before she turns 25."

Mmm hmm. Sure, Star. While all this wedding nonsense is almost certainly BS, there's no doubt they are back together and going strong.

But should they be?