MTV News' Larry Carroll was inside the Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday afternoon (June 22) to witness Chris Brown's plea deal and Rihanna's brief appearance. These are his reactions thoughts from ground zero in this case.
What struck me most about the Chris Brown "trial" today, as I sat three rows back of the defendant in the courtroom, were three things: How nervous Chris looked, how well-planned the whole thing was how quickly it all went down.
Because of what I do for a living, I've interviewed Chris five or six times over the last few years. I've spent a good amount of time with him on film sets, in the recording studio, speaking with him on red carpets and the like. Today, however, the wide grin was missing. Rather than his usual buoyant sprint, he shuffled into the courtroom with his head down, biting his lip. The man looked as if he'd seen a ghost.
Which was even more unusual, based on what was about to go down. The judge knew a plea deal had been reached. She and Chris' lawyer quickly and politely went over the final details — even sharing a laugh when he said that Chris would leave the courtroom before Rihanna walked in, so as not to violate a "stay away" order just seconds after it was issued.
Still nervous-looking, a freshly-sentenced Brown left through one door. Seconds later, Rihanna was is and then out. It was all pre-planned, very smooth, very courteous and very civil.
In a matter of moments, it was all over — except for the question of where Chris and Rihanna's careers go from here.