Chris Brown Attends Rihanna’s Birthday Party, Holds Her Hand in Front of Guests

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There have been reports over the past few months that Rihanna has reconciled with Chris Brown, the boyfriend who beat her so badly in February 2009 that she had to be hospitalized for multiple head contusions, a black eye, split lip, bites to her head and fingers, and a bloody nose. Although we hoped they were merely just rumors, sadly it looks like it may be true. On Monday night in Los Angeles, the "We Found Love" singer had an early birthday party (her actual birthday is February 20), which was attended by family and friends, including BFF Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Coldplay's Chris Martin … and Brown.

According to TMZ, the "Look At Me Know" singer -- who went on a profane Twitter rant the following day over criticism for his Grammy win -- refused to enter Hearst Mansion, where Rihanna's 24th birthday party was thrown, until everyone there signed a confidentially agreement. Although his security team didn't succeed in getting every person to sign, Brown still walked in … and made a beeline straight for Rihanna. Eyewitnesses later told TMZ that the two were sitting together and holding hands for a large portion of the night. When Brown's representatives were contacted about the story, they did not deny he was there and clarified that confidentiality agreements were only given to those who were caught taking a photograph of Brown at the party.

Why so hush-hush? Perhaps because although the beating incident was three years ago, it's still brought up constantly -- mostly because Brown has been largely unapologetic about it. Immediately following his arrest, he released a heavily-rehearsed recorded apology that came off as being insincere since he was clearly reading from cue cards. Just a few weeks later, Brown, who was 19 at the time, was photographed on a jet ski in Miami -- flexing his biceps and laughing -- as if nothing had ever happened. His indifference to the serious situation even prompted a response from his idol, Usher. "C'mon, Chris," the R&B singer said in a video posted online. "Have a little bit of remorse, man. The man's on jet skis? Like, just relaxing in Miami?"

Last February, Brown asked a judge to lift the court-ordered restraining order barring him from contact with Rihanna. His wish was granted, but only after Rihanna herself approved the request. That May, the two took their rekindled relationship public by following each other on Twitter -- and exchanging tweets. "[You] got that pic I sent you" Brown wrote to her, although it was quickly deleted. When an upset fan asked Rihanna why she'd let Brown back in her life, the Barbadian-born singer retorted, "its fu--in twitter, not the alter! calm down." Perhaps, but the two are clearly working back toward a reunion of some kind. As recent as January 22, Rihanna and Brown -- who has a girlfriend, model Karrueche Tran -- both partied at the same West Hollywood club, Greystone Manor, although they arrived and left separately.

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