[artist id="1961441"]Chris Brown[/artist] is reportedly back together with an ex-girlfriend — but it's not [artist id="1940303"]Rihanna[/artist], who the 19-year-old singer has been charged with attacking in an alleged February 8 early-morning altercation that resulted in Brown pleading not guilty last week to felony counts of assault and making criminal threats.
According to New York's Daily News, Brown is back together with an ex-girlfriend from his home state of Virginia, Erica Jackson. The tabloid reported that the University of Mary Washington student recently started dating Brown again. "[Chris and Erica] met in Virginia, where he's from," an unidentified source close to the singer reportedly told the paper. "They dated back in the day and reconnected a few weeks ago when Chris was in town. They've been spending a lot of time together, but things only really heated up over the last two weeks."
Brown was recently photographed shooting hoops at Mary Washington and posing with the women's basketball team on a visit that coincided with the school's "White Ribbon Campaign" devoted to raising awareness about violence toward women.
Following an alleged brief reconciliation at a home owned by Diddy in Miami shortly after the alleged assault, Brown and Rihanna have not been spotted together in public for several weeks. The unnamed source told the Daily News that while Jackson is "no Rihanna," the general feeling among Brown's friends and family is that she is going to be good for him. "[Erica] has a good head on her shoulders; she's solid," the source reportedly said. "... At the very least, she's helping to ease Chris' pain over Rihanna. He was mad in love with that girl."
Brown and Jackson were reported to have been seen leaving a Sunset Boulevard tattoo parlor on Saturday afternoon. While a spokesperson for Brown did not return requests for comment at press time, an unnamed representative for the singer told the paper, "He did go to a tattoo parlor with someone from the studio named Dean. There was a woman there who was a friend of Dean. There is no truth to this at all. Chris does not know the woman nor does he know the name of the woman." A Chris Brown fan site has posted the alleged photos of Brown and Jackson.
Adding to the confusion, some sites have identified the woman spotted with Brown at the parlor not as Jackson, but former Girlicious member Natalie Mejia.
Another unnamed source, this one reportedly close to Rihanna, told the Daily News, "She is going to be pissed! ... Ri is going to be so hurt that Chris has moved on so quickly and is parading this new girl around town." Rihanna's lawyer has said that his client plans to cooperate with prosecutors on the Brown case by testifying if subpoenaed to do so. Brown is due in court again on April 29.