Chris Brown is out of jail, after posting $250,000 bail, he's posting new music, but he's given up posting ranting videos.
So what happens now that one of the music world's bad boys — he's already a convicted felon — is facing a new felony charge of assault with a deadly weapon? He was arrested Tuesday evening, hours after a woman accused him of threatening her with a gun in his San Fernando Valley home and detectives from the LAPD's Robbery-Homicide Division waited hours to get a search warrant. Brown's first court date, according to Los Angeles County Jail records, will be Sept. 20 for arraignment.
Two days after Brown's latest arrest, here's what we know:
He deleted his videos
Brown has buttoned up and left the talking to his lawyer, famed TV legal pundit Mark Geragos. "The allegations against him are demonstrably false," the Twitter-active attorney wrote early Wednesday.
Geragos has not returned calls to USA TODAY, but on Thursday, he was quoted by the Los Angeles Times as calling the charge against Brown "fabricated." He added that the police did not find a firearm during their search of Brown's house. The police won't comment on what, if anything, was found.
Thanks to everyone for their support and well wishes. Chris is out and well. The allegations against him are demonstrably false #TeamBreezy— Mark Geragos (@markgeragos) August 31, 2016
Geragos' tweeted statement was posted on Brown's Instagram account — right where Brown posted three profanity-laden videos Tuesday, featuring himself railing against the LAPD and the media outside his house covering the police investigation.
Brown said in the videos that he was "innocent," although he didn't further specify. He denounced media reports that he was "barricaded" inside his house, complained about the helicopters flying overhead, and called the police "idiots" and "the worst gang in the world."
"All those videos can be used against him — they're voluntary statements and admissions," says criminal defense attorney (and former child actor) Troy Slaten, now a popular TV legal pundit in Los Angeles. "They're all fair game." Posting them was a mistake, Slaten says.
The videos were a "little belligerent," says Beverly Hills criminal defense lawyer Mark McBride, who has been following the case. But he says Brown was smart, or well-advised by Geragos, to demand that police get a search warrant before letting them in his house.
"I think Chris played it perfectly — he was like a first-year law-school criminal procedure textbook," McBride says.
"He's a gifted artist and an amazing musician, a wonderful entertainer but he doesn't know how to comport himself in a legal situation," Slaten says. "He's acting like typical 27-year-old with more money than God."
Speaking of entertainment: On Wednesday, Brown posted a new song, What Would You Do?, to his SoundCloud account, tweeting, "MUSIC!!!!" and a link to the track.
What's at stake
Slaten says Brown could get up to 14 years in state prison (McBride estimates it might be closer to nine) if he's convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon.
Police would not say whether they found one and if so whether it was Brown's gun. They don't have to say anything under California law, notes Slaten, pointing out that police reports and search warrant affidavits are confidential records under state law.
Because Brown is a convicted felon (after he pleaded guilty to beating his then girlfriend Rihanna in 2009), he's not supposed to be in possession of a gun or ammunition under the state's strict laws. But police did not charge him with illegal possession.
"In California, it's even illegal (for felons) to go to a gun range and rent a gun," Slaten says.
"There must be some weakness in the police case, like, (Brown) didn’t know the gun was there," McBride says. (State law does permit felons to be in the presence of others in possession of guns.)
If prosecutors decide to proceed with a case against Brown, there would be discussions between the lawyers about a possible plea bargain, and failing that, the case would proceed to preliminary hearings and eventually a trial. If Brown were convicted, a judge could take into account his criminal history, Slaten says.
McBride believes Geragos will try to get the case dismissed or diminished in the plea-bargain stage: "Mark is a very good negotiator," he says. "If he goes to trial, he might try to turn it into a 'frame-up' case."
In any case, he believes the case against Brown does not compare with the case in which he pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna. "Factually, this is not nearly as serious — he really hurt her," McBride says. "Personally, I think this current case is a lot of baloney. This is going to go away in terms of the news cycle (compared with the Rihanna case)."
Child Custody Agreement
Brown shares custody of his 2-year-old daughter, Royalty, with her mother, Nia Guzman. That much-litigated arrangement, which allows Brown unsupervised time with her up to a dozen days a month, could change now, along with the amount of child support he is paying.
Guzman's Houston lawyer, Carl Anthony Moore, says he's "contemplating" going back to court to ask for modifications, as soon as he sorts out the "conflicting reports" about what happened Tuesday.
Baylee Curran, 25, a dethroned Miss California Regional and sometimeactress, outed herself as the accuser in multiple interviews with local media even as police waited to search Brown's house. According to her account, she was admiring some diamond jewelry during a visit to Brown's house when he and another man became angry. She says Brown pulled out a gun and pointed it at her, telling her to leave.
She says she fled after refusing to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Outside the house, she called the police to report what she said happened to her.
But Geragos claimed the LAPD did not find the jewelry she mentioned. The cops won't comment.
Curran did herself no favors by immediately heading to the media to be interviewed, McBride says. "The fact she didn't go home (to recover) and instead gave an interview to TMZ is a defense attorney's dream," McBride says. "It's pretty obnoxious. That's not even reasonable for Southern California!"
Meanwhile, Curran's past is being excavated. The Miss California Regional pageantissued a statement to USA TODAY saying she was stripped of her title in July, two months after winning, because of an unspecified "breach of contract," and she has refused to return her crown and sash.
Pageant officials, including CEO Lowona Crawford, held a news conference Thursday in Pasadena to dispute Curran's claims that she is still the title holder. Joshua James, spokesman for the pageant, told USA TODAY she was dethroned after an investigation of "allegations and incidents" during her reign, including alleged racial slurs by Curran.
"We hold everyone in our organization to the highest standards in their moral values," the pageant statement said. "Miss California Regional prohibits any form of alcohol or paraphernalia use, nor do we allow any behavior not befitting a queen."
Curran is wanted in New York for grand larceny in connection with the theft of a wallet at the Plaza Hotel in October 2013, the NYPD confirmed to USA TODAY.
Doesn't matter, Slaten says. "It could affect her credibility as a witness in court," he says. "But it doesn't make her not a victim who can't complain to police. ... Criminals can be victims as well."
What does Ray J say?
The singer and friend of Brown was at the house on the night in question, so he's a potential witness.
On Tuesday, Ray J posted a video on his Instagram page that seemingly criticizes the accuser and bashes the media who helped create the "war zone" outside Brown's house Tuesday.
The following day, he defended Brown in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, saying he did nothing wrong. Is Curran telling the truth? Ray J didn't want to comment, but then did anyway.
"The thing about it is, she can't be telling the truth when I'm telling you that certain things are wrong," he said. "Like, find the facts out first. And that's all I'm saying."