When Ne-Yo found out about the allegations of violence between Chris Brown and Rihanna, he knew he couldn’t get the story from a third party. Concerned for both his friends, the singer wanted to speak to them personally.
On Monday afternoon (Feb. 23), a still-stunned Ne-Yo offered his thoughts.
“I wanted to talk to them before I made a comment,” he said about the much-publicized incident that occurred several hours before the Grammy Awards on February 8. Brown turned himself in to police during the awards show and was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats and released. “I spoke to Rihanna. She says she’s fine. She didn’t go into detail about what happened. I understand it’s a painful situation; I didn’t push.”
Like so many of Rihanna’s fans, friends and family members, Ne-Yo said he was grief-stricken after viewing the recently leaked photo of a bruised and apparently battered Rihanna shortly after her altercation with Brown.
“I saw the picture,” he said solemnly. “That just really – that hurt me to my heart, man. Again, I still don’t know what happened, ’cause I haven’t had the opportunity to talk to Chris yet. But to take it to that level really hurt my heart. All I can say is, I’m praying for both of them. They’re both in my prayers. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Chris yet. I just wanna sit down and talk to that dude and just explain if he doesn’t understand: ‘That’s not something that’s excusable, bruh. You have to get a little smarter about whatever it is going on in your relationship. You have to get a little smarter about how you handle certain situations.’ ”
Still, Ne-Yo refused to be Brown’s judge and jury. “I’m not going to crucify him,” Ne-Yo said. “I’m not going to do that. That’s still my homeboy at the end of the day. For it to go to that level was wrong. I won’t say who was responsible. I won’t pick no sides. I’m just saying it was wrong [that] it had to happen like that, and I’m praying for the both of them.”
Ne-Yo has had very close ties to Brown and Rihanna. In 2006, Brown and Ne-Yo co-headlined a tour that featured Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana. In 2005, Ne-Yo and Rihanna became two of the main pieces of the Def Jam puzzle when then-president Jay-Z had a hand in signing both acts. Ne-Yo penned his duet with Rihanna “I Hate That I Love You.”