Chris Brown makes ‘strides’ to sobriety, ‘personal growth,’ his doctor says
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Chris Brown has “made significant strides” in staying sober since he got out of jail in June, the singer’s psychiatrist said.
The doctor’s letter to Brown’s probation officer said he’s “working on personal growth” and “is taking responsibility for his behaviors” in the two months since he was freed from jail.
Those behaviors have included an alleged sidewalk fight that sent him to jail in Washington, D.C., in October and a violent outburst that got him booted from a drug rehab program in November.
The doctor’s treatment is part of his probation sentence for an attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009.
Brown, 25, was in a Los Angeles court on Wednesday for a status hearing on his probation, which will end on January 23, 2015, as long as he stays out of legal trouble and completes another 600 hours of community labor.
Judge James Brandlin praised the singer for his favorable probation report, which is a contrast to several recent reports that culminated in Brown spending four months in court-ordered rehab and three months in jail.
“Mr. Brown has made significant strides in maintaining his sobriety, as well as developing skills that promote personal growth,” wrote the doctor, whose name was deleted from the report.
He has passed all drug tests since he was freed from the Los Angeles County jail on June 2, the probation report said.
Brandlin rewarded Brown by reducing random drug tests from three times a week to twice each week.
But drug use — specifically marijuana — hasn’t been Brown’s only challenge. He was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which is blamed for violent outbursts.
He still faces trial this fall in Washington on a misdemeanor assault charge stemming from the sidewalk fight.
He was booted from one rehab facility in November because he stormed out of a family counseling session and smashed the window of his mother’s Mercedes with a rock.
But Brown is taking his twice-a-week court-ordered psychological therapy sessions seriously, the doctor said.
“He continues to show great perseverance in implementing recommendations made by his treatment team, utilizing his learned skills and seeking guidance in his recovery process,” his doctor reported.
Brown’s efforts to remain calm and in control appeared successful at the courthouse, despite some tense encounters with the news media covering Wednesday’s hearing.
He quietly watched as a TMZ reporter attempted to get on a courthouse elevator with him after the hearing. He left it to bodyguard Christopher Hollosy to repeatedly nudge the reporter until he was out the door.
Hollosy, a large man who is fiercely protective of his client, was found guilty in April of attacking the same man in Washington that Brown is accused of hitting.
When he encountered news photographers at the front courthouse exit, Brown retreated to a rear door, appearing unshaken and unemotional.
The only woman with Brown at Wednesday’s court date was his mother. She has been with him at almost all the hearings, except immediately after the window-smashing incident.
Rihanna, who reunited with Brown at times in recent years, came to show her support for him at a hearing in February 2013.
Karrueche Tran, his on-again, off-again, girlfriend is off again. She has attended most of Brown’s recent hearings, including the last one in May. She was not in court Wednesday.
Brown was a young teenager when his remarkable dancing and singing talents made him a pop star. He was 19 when he smashed Rihanna’s face with his fist during an argument inside a rented Lamborghini on the evening of the 2009 Grammy Awards.
“Mr. Brown continues to work on gaining further insight into his thought processes and is taking responsibility for his behaviors,” his doctor said. “He is also working on personal growth as well as symptom management.”
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