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Chris Brown fails to appear in Paris court over rape accusation

Chris Brown performs at the 2018 BET Experience Staples Center Concert, sponsored by COCA-COLA, at L.A. Live on June 22, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif.
Chris Brown performs at the 2018 BET Experience Staples Center Concert, sponsored by COCA-COLA, at L.A. Live on June 22, 2018, in Los Angeles, Calif. Ser Baffo/Getty Images for BET

WARNING: This article contains sexual and explicit language and may be triggering for some readers. Please read at your own discretion.

Several lawyers have issued very different takes on a formal meeting in Paris that was supposed to happen on Tuesday between an alleged rape victim and singer-songwriter Chris Brown.

Gloria Allred, a lawyer for a woman who filed a rape complaint in Paris against Brown, claims he “has thumbed his nose at and shown disrespect for the French legal system” after Brown did not attend the formal meeting.

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Brown’s French lawyer says he told authorities Brown could not make the meeting and would reschedule it.

READ MORE: Chris Brown plans to sue rape accuser for slander, says his lawyer

“Why did he fail to come today? Does he think that he is above the law in France? Does he think that the French criminal justice system is a joke?” Allred told reporters outside the court.

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The Jealous singer was arrested in January then freed to leave France without charge pending further investigation of the woman’s allegations that he and two other men raped her at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris. Brown called the accusation false.

“His failure to appear today is very unfair to my client, but I assure him that my client will not be deterred from seeking justice,” said Allred, an American lawyer who travelled to Paris judicial police’s headquarters to assist the woman at the meeting.

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The woman’s French lawyer, Jean-Marc Descoubes, said Brown was not legally obligated to attend the meeting but it was needed to investigate the case.

READ MORE: Chris Brown responds to sex assault accusation, says woman is lying

“If he does not show up a second time … we will ask the prosecutor to put in place more coercive measures, a warrant to get him to come, because the confrontation requested by our client is key to this case, a sexual abuse case,” he said.

The 30-year-old singer’s French lawyer, Raphael Chiche, said that he had let French authorities know that Brown would not be available because the date was not convenient and that he would work to set a new date.

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“Chris Brown does not want to escape his responsibilities,” Chiche said. “He wants to confront her infamous and calumnious accusations.”

The two other American suspects did not attend the meeting. Chiche said one is a friend of Brown’s while the other works as Brown’s bodyguard.

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The woman who filed the complaint previously said she met Brown and his friends overnight on Jan. 15-16 at the club Le Crystal near the Champs-Elysées and then they all went to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel near the Concorde Plaza in central Paris, according to officials.

According to the New York Times, a woman filed a complaint with Parisian police, accusing the group of raping her at Brown’s hotel.

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One of Brown’s bodyguards is among the others detained in the Paris investigation, according to an official. Neither official was authorized to be publicly named discussing the investigation.

In late January, Brown responded to the rape allegations after being detained by police in Paris.

The singer’s accuser detailed the alleged incident in an interview with French outlet Closer on Jan. 22.

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“It’s still too difficult for me to explain in detail what he did, but it was brutal and violent,” she said. “I was very afraid. Once it was over, he opened the door. I told him that I wanted to pick up my cellphone and go home.”

“The only wish I had was to go home,” she told Closer. “I was too scared. It was three muscular men, aggressive and menacing. I could not do anything. I am traumatized, I can not overcome what happened to me and resume my habits. It’s horrible, I’m lost.”

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She said that she decided to come forward because she doesn’t want other women to go through what she experienced.

“I did not want them to be able to do the same thing to other girls,” she said. “Chris Brown is the kind of person who thinks himself powerful and thinks himself above the law, but no. I’ll go to the end. Abused three times in the same evening by three different men, it’s unbearable to live.”

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The I Don’t Die singer took to Instagram to share a message with his fans.

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“I WANNA MAKE IT PERFECTLY CLEAR…… THIS IS FALSE AND A WHOLE LOT OF CAP [sic]! NNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!!!!!! FOR MY DAUGHTER AND MY FAMILY THIS IS SO DISPRESPECTFUL [sic] AND IS AGAINST MY CHARACTER AND MORALS!!!!!” Brown wrote in all caps.

On Jan. 23, Brown’s lawyer said the singer would be taking legal action against his accuser.

“Chris Brown is free. No lawsuits were filed against him,” Chiche said at the time. “He vigorously challenges the charges against him.”

“A complaint for slanderous denunciation will be filed tomorrow with the Public Prosecutor of Paris,” he continued. “The charges against Chris Brown have not been dropped, and investigations are still going on, but Chris Brown has not been sued by prosecution.”

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.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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—With files from the Associated Press