It's not unusual to focus on work during tough times. Which is exactly what Rihanna and Chris Brown have chosen to do as their altercation, subsequent reconciliation, and ensuing legal affairs continue to captivate the public's attention.
Both artists are back to work on their individual albums. But new reports say the pair are also working on a duet with producer Polow Da Don(Luda, Nas, Kelis), and have been "holed up" together for the past several days in a studio in Santa Monica, CA.
A "studio insider" revealed to E!News that the duet is slated for inclusion on Brown's forthcoming album Graffiti. "They've been working on it together," the source confirmed.
Rihanna is also recording music for her follow-up to 2007's Good Girl Gone Bad. Grammy-Award winning producer Adonis Shropshire, who is linked to the album, told HipHollywood.com that the singer is "doing OK" and alluded to her coping mechanisms: "With anybody in the world that goes through something, you have to bring yourself out of it. So I guess her refuge is her music, of course, as it should be," he said. "Of course, there's still remnants of whatever from time to time ... But she's definitely trying to move forward."
Shropshire added that Rihanna's new music is going in the "same direction" as her previous album: "[It's] just an evolution of what she already is, you know: super-poppy," he said. "[Her next album will] eclipse what she's done before, so it's going to be hot."
Meanwhile, Brown wasted no time in getting back to work on this third album (in studios in Los Angeles and Miami), and seems to be simultaneously working overtime on a plea deal. According to TMZ, sources close to Brown's legal team say that the singer is hoping to reduce the felony charge against him (which could see Brown facing four years in prison if convicted). He is said to be seeking a misdemeanor count with no jail time on the basis that Rihanna's own aggressiveness during the alleged altercation takes the offense out of the felony category.
But the existence of new evidence could thwart Brown's plan: A text message sent by the singer to Rihanna's assistant in the aftermath of the event could be viewed as an admission of guilt (Brown reportedly apologized for what he did to Rihanna and claimed that he was seeking help). Rihanna also allegedly told police that Brown had beaten her before, further weakening Brown's case. Plus: photo-documentation of Rihanna's injuries -- said to be worse than what the public has already seen -- demonstrate Brown's far-superior strength.
Rihanna's lawyer Donald Etra told MTV News that the singer has agreed to testify against Brown: "She is willing to do anything that the law requires her to do," he said. "If subpoenaed, she will testify."
And, as ever, celebrities continue to give their perspectives on the situation. Last Friday Oprah offered the couple advice ("Give it some time, get yourself some counseling, take care of yourself") before announcing her intention to do a program about domestic violence by dedicating it "to all the Rihannas of the world." She also delivered a warning: "Love doesn't hurt. If a man hits you once, he will hit you again." [Via People.com].
Donald Trump, in trademark fashion, took the "tough love" tactic. In an interview with Inside Edition the real estate mogul had harsh words for Rihanna: "She better get the hell out.If she goes back, she's a loser, and she doesn't deserve to have any future success."
The newsmagazine television show also spoke with Rihanna's father Ronald Fenty at his home in Barbados. He expressed frustration at not having communicated with his daughter since the incident, save for a text message he received from her two weeks ago on her birthday that read, "Daddy I miss you." Fenty confided to his own emotional turmoil -- "Last night I was crying in my bed," he said -- and also sent a message to Chris Brown: "I'm disappointed in you. I am totally disappointed and upset with you."