Brown pleaded guilty to assault, then was ordered to perform community service and stay away from his ex-girlfriend for a brief period of time. Although the restraining order against him has been lifted, he remains on probation.
Brown was widely criticized after the incident by fans, journalists and some other musicians outraged by what he did to Rihanna. Rihanna suffered a similar backlash after rumors began flying that she had forgiven her abuser and taken him back.
"I decided it was more important for me to be happy," Rihanna told Rolling Stone, confirming for the first time she and Brown are back together. "I wasn't going to let anybody's opinion get in the way of that. Even if it's a mistake, it's my mistake. After being tormented for so many years, being angry and dark, I'd rather just live my truth and take the backlash. I can handle it."
Rihanna insisted she doesn't think Brown will physically hurt her again.
"It's different now," she said. "We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We talk about [expletive]. We value each other. We know exactly what we have now, and we don't want to lose that. ... He doesn't have the luxury of [expletive] up again. ... That's just not an option. I can't say that nothing else will ever go wrong. But I'm pretty solid in the knowing that he's disgusted by that. And I wouldn't have gone this far if I ever thought that was a possibility. He made a mistake, and he's paid his dues."
Brown allegedly has been involved in other physical confrontations since assaulting Rihanna. Singer Frank Ocean told police Brown punched him during an argument over a parking spot outside a Los Angeles-area recording studio last weekend, TMZ reported. Several people associated with both men were allegedly involved but no arrests were made.
Last year, Brown and Canadian singer Drake allegedly were in a fight at a New York nightclub that left eight people injured. No charges were brought in that case either.