American R&B star Chris Brown was released without charge Tuesday after being held for questioning overnight in Paris over a rape allegation, the Paris prosecutor said.
The prosecutor's office said an investigation was continuing, while Brown's lawyer Raphael Chiche said his client "energetically" proclaimed his innocence and wanted to bring a defamation lawsuit.
FILE - In this Sept.21, 2018 file photo, singer Chris Brown performs during Philipp Plein's women's 2019 Spring-Summer collection, unveiled during the Fashion Week in Milan, Italy. (Photo: AP)
US singer Chris Brown and two other people are in custody in Paris after a woman filed a rape complaint, French officials said Tuesday.
The Grammy-winning singer was detained Monday on potential charges of aggravated rape and drug infractions and remained in custody Tuesday, a judicial official said. Investigators have another two days to decide whether to let him go or file preliminary charges.
Brown’s publicists at Sony Music would not comment Tuesday on the complaint or say what Brown, 29, was doing in Paris. His US attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Brown has been in repeated legal trouble since pleading guilty to the felony assault in 2009 of his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He completed his probation in that case in 2015, but has continued to have run-ins with police.
The woman who filed the Paris complaint said she met Brown and his friends overnight Jan. 15-16 at the club Le Crystal in the 8th arrondissement near the Champs-Elysees, and then they all went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near the Concorde Plaza in central Paris, according to the official.
The Mandarin Oriental would not comment on the investigation, and Le Crystal could not immediately be reached. There was no unusual activity outside either site.
One of Brown’s bodyguards is among the others detained in the Paris investigation, according to the official. They are being held by judicial police in the 17th arrondissement of northwest Paris, the official said.
Neither official was authorized to be publicly named discussing the investigation.
The detention was originally reported by French gossip magazine Closer.
Brown, who burst onto the music scene as a teen, won a Grammy Award in 2011 for best R&B album for “F.A.M.E.” and has nominations for other works. His hits include include “Look at Me Now,” ″Run It,” and numerous collaborations with other stars, including “Post to Be” and last year’s “Freaky Friday” with Lil Dicky.
He released a new single earlier this month and has a new album coming this year. Six of his albums have gone platinum.
He retains a huge following of devoted fans, including nearly 50 million followers on Instagram . He posted an Instagram photo Monday from Paris appearing to show him at a nightclub, among several recent posts. Followers responded with mixed messages to the rape accusation.
It’s the latest legal trouble for Brown, who was arrested at the end of a concert last year to face a felony battery charge involving a nightclub photographer.
In 2013, Brown was charged with misdemeanor assault after he was accused of striking a man outside a Washington, DC, hotel. He was ordered into rehab but was dismissed for violating facility rules. Brown spent 2½ months in custody.
After he completed court-ordered anger-management classes, Brown was accused of throwing a brick at his mother’s car following a counseling session.
After Brown posted a picture to his Instagram followers in January 2018 showing his 3-year-old daughter, Royalty, cuddling with a pet monkey, California fish and wildlife agents seized the capuchin monkey named Fiji from his home in Los Angeles.
Brown was later handed a misdemeanor charge for lacking a permit for the primate. He is scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 6 in Los Angeles.
(With inputs from AFP and AP)