Rihanna and Chris Brown Come Face to Face in Court

Popstar Rihanna and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown will meet today in court.

June 21, 2009, 11:24 AM

June 22, 2009 — -- Since she was bloodied and bruised in February, pop singer Rihanna has said nothing about the assault or her accused attacker, Chris Brown. Today she is expected to break her silence when she testifies for the prosecution in the assault case against her ex-boyfriend.

Brown's preliminary hearing, which will be closed to cameras, is scheduled for today in Los Angeles. The purpose of the hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence for Brown to stand trial.

Rihanna's testimony could make or break the case. Brown could face up to four years in prison if convincted.

The "Umbrella" singer was subpoenaed last Tuesday in the law offices of her attorney, Donald Etra.

"My expectation is that she will be called to take the stand," said Etra of his client, Rihanna. "She plans to tell the truth about what happened."

Etra declined to comment on the status of Rihanna's relationship with Brown or her state of mind.

What Rihanna will say is anyone's guess. Following the assault, she first reunited with Brown, whom she had dated for about a year, but has since distanced herself.

Former California prosecutor William Gagen seems to think her testimony will benefit prosecutors.

"What happens with domestic violence cases in a general way is the victim is unwilling to testify because they got back together or they don't want to break down the marital union against the spouse," Gagen said. "But there probably is no privilege here since they are not married.

"I would think the prosecutor would have a clear road map of where she is going go," he added.

Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, will also have an opportunity to cross-examine Rihanna.

Geragos has tried to delay the hearing. Last week, he filed a motion to push back the hearing until he could view police records. Geragos has pointed the finger at L.A. police for leaking a bombshell photo of a bruised and battered Rihanna.

The judge denied the request and Geragos filed the same papers with California's Supreme Court, which has yet to take up motion, according to the Los Angeles Times. So for now, it appears the hearing will go on.

ABCNews.com looks back at the events that led up to the hearing:

Feb. 7, 2009

Rihanna and Brown are all smiles at a high-profile industry party together at mega-producer Clive Davis' home on Saturday, the night before they were both scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards.

Feb. 8, 2009

Brown and Rihanna are involved in an early morning argument and assault in his car while parked in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles around 12:30 a.m. Sunday. Responding to a 911 call about a disturbance, the LAPD takes statements from a female with visible injuries, who named Brown as her attacker.

Brown, who had fled the scene, later turns himself into police and was charged with two felonies, assault and making criminal threats, and was released after posting $50,000 bail. Grammy producers scramble to fill the slots allotted to Brown and Rihanna, as both are a no-show.

Feb. 15, 2009

Brown releases a statement : "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person."

The statement comes too late for advertisers for the Milk Mustache campaign and Wrigley's Doublemint gum, which severed their relationship with Brown. Some radio stations also stop airing Brown's songs.

Rihanna has yet to speak out, but her father, Ronald Fenty, does. "There is some bruising. She will be all right. I think so," he told People magazine. "At some point, she will speak out. I hope she will stand up for women all over the world.

Feb. 19, 2009

A graphic photo of a battered Rihanna is leaked on the Internet. The picture is a close-up of a young woman with her eyes closed and bruises and cuts on her forehead, lips and cheeks.

Reports surface of Brown's violent past. In an interview with Giant magazine, he talked about growing up terrified, watching his stepfather abuse his mother. Rihanna also suffered headaches growing up amid her parents' stormy relationship.

There are also reports that February's assault was not the first time Brown hit Rihanna.

Feb. 27, 2009Chris Brown and Rihanna are photographed together jet-skiing and relaxing at the Miami home of Sean "Diddy" Combs. Rumors buzz that they are back together.

March 5, 2009

A police officer's affadavit to detailing Rihanna's beating is released at the same time Brown makes his first appearance in court. Geragos, Brown's attorney, is overheard telling his client that Rihanna's attorney Etra is working with them. Etra is also overheard telling Brown: "I think Rihanna would like this resolved as quickly as possible as well."

The affadavit tells a more grim story. According to the officer, Rihanna read a three-page text message on Brown's phone from another woman and got into a heated argument with Brown. Brown shoved Rihanna into the window of his rented Lamborghini, while driving. He punched her several times and said, "I'm going to beat the s*** out of you when we get home." When Rihanna countered by calling her assistant's phone, Brown warned, "You just did the stupidest thing ever. I'm going to kill you."

March 7, 2009

Chris Brown returns to work in the recording studio and urges kids to vote for him for Nickelodeon's Kids Choice Awards. He withdraws his nomination a few days later.

Rumors that the couple is working on a love duet are shot down by an industry source.

April 3, 2009

Brown pleads not guilty to both felony counts.

May 7, 2009

Geragos argues Rihanna's leaked photo may be grounds for case dismissal.

May 27, 2009

Brown releases two videos on YouTube letting his "haters" know that he is not a "monster" and, by the way, buy his new album too.

June 11, 2009

Both Brown and Rihanna are spotted at an NBA game, though not together. The couple has not been linked together since early March.

Rihanna hangs out with new friend Katy Perry and is romantically linked to Kanye West and Aubrey Graham. Brown celebrates his 20th birthday with a low-key affair in his hometown in Virginia.

June 18, 2009The court refuses to delay Brown's hearing. The preliminary hearing will determine whether enough evidence exists for the case to go to trial. Brown could face up to a four-year sentence if convicted of the charges against him.

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