R & B singer Chris Brown says he is ready to stop apologizing for his violent attack on Rihanna two years ago and move on from the "mishap," but women's groups aren't ready to forgive and forget, and expressed their outrage to RadarOnline.com over his flippant comments.
The Forever singer told Page Six Magazine that he is done saying sorry for attacking Rihanna in February 2009: "I’m in a positive place. I consider myself a grown-a ** man. And at the end of the day, if I walk around apologizing to everybody, I’m gonna look like a damn fool.”
However, his lighthearted reaction has disgusted groups who devote their lives to protecting battered women such as Rihanna.
"To imply that it is something that can just be gotten over is just an insult against women across the country," Erin Matson, Acting Vice President of the National Organization of Women told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview. "It is very upsetting for Chris to think it is all about him.
"Whether we like it or not, celebrities get so much attention in our culture and with that attention comes responsibility. To see him backing away from his responsibility to speak out against intimate partner violence is horrifying," explains Matson.
In the Page Six interview, in Thursday’s edition of the New York Post, the 21-year-old singer revealed how many of his showbiz pals turned their backs on him after the incident.
"But you can’t blame people for how they want to be portrayed or if they don’t want to be associated with somebody who had a particular mishap,” he said.
Matson is disgusted that Brown would use such a word to describe an attack that left his then-girlfriend with serious swelling and bruising, a split lip, bloody nose and bite marks on her arms and fingers.
"It was not a mishap, this was a serious act of violence. No woman who has been assaulted would refer to it as a mishap, nor should anyone refer to it as such," she told RadarOnline.com.
"What I am most concerned about is people who are hearing him say that he's assaulted someone and that it's not a big deal.”
While her heart goes out to Rihanna for having to survive something so horrific, Matson emphasises that the impact of Brown's statement goes beyond the celebrity couple.
"The far-reaching message to young people who get beaten up is, 'Who cares?' Domestic violence is often not reported and when you see people in the public eye trying to sweep it under the rug, it’s one more reason why victims struggle to come forward about it. There is a fear that if it's reported it will become worse and this adds to that message."
Instead of saying that he is over it, Matson thinks Brown should get more educated and speak out against domestic violence. "He has more than just personal amends to make by being in the public eye," she explained.
Brown was sentenced to five years' probation and ordered to do 180 days of community labor as a part of the plea deal he made in June 2009 for the assault, which took place in in Hancock Park, California.