Oprah Winfrey Defends Herself Over Chris Brown Criticism: ‘Domestic Violence Is Something That I Wouldn’t Tolerate. Period’
First Published: September 9, 2009 7:59 PM EDT Credit: Getty Images
CHICAGO, Ill. -- Oprah Winfrey herself has addressed Chris Brown’s recent criticisms of the talk show host.
The singer, who pleaded guilty to one count of assault over beating Rihanna in the early hours of February 8, and was sentenced to community labor and domestic counseling, recently suggested the talk show host could have been more supportive of him following the incident.
“I commend Oprah on being like, ‘This is a problem,’ but it was a slap in my face,” Chris previously told People, referencing an episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on domestic abuse that ran earlier this year, one which was inspired by the February 8 incident.
While a rep for Oprah issued a statement over Brown’s comments, noting that Oprah hoped “he gets the counseling he needs,” Oprah herself addressed the issue in a new interview with Access Hollywood’s Shaun Robinson.
“So this is what happened; Chris Brown did my show several years ago, I think it was 2007. Fun, fun time and afterward he said, ‘If there’s anything ever I can do for you then let me know,’” Oprah explained. “I almost never take anybody up on that… But my girls at the Academy in Africa love Chris Brown, love, love, love, love, love Chris Brown.”
Oprah explained she invited Chris to go to Africa because of her students’ passion for the artist.
“He said he would go and I had him and his whole team come over and they performed for my girls at the Academy and it was so fantastic,” Oprah recounted. “Five girls fainted… needed oxygen from the nurses… The next day they taught a hip-hop dance class it was all really great… we all hugged and thanked [him] and all that and gave a small honorarium because that’s what the school could afford… and all was well.”
The talk show host, who kicks off the 24th season of her daytime talk show on Thursday, told Shaun that she was glad Chris came to her school, but domestic violence is a big issue.
“I’m still very happy that he came to the school, still very happy about that. Two separate issues,” Oprah explained. “So when Chris Brown issued a statement saying that he felt that I, because he had come to my school I should have, you know, been defending him… They’re two separate issues. I really am grateful that he came to the school.”
“But you take the issue of abuse very, very seriously,” Shaun said.
“Domestic violence is something that I wouldn’t tolerate. Period,” Oprah said.
Chris previously said he thought Oprah could have offered to lend a hand following the incident.
“I did a lot of stuff for her, like going to Africa and performing for her school. She could have been more helpful, like, ‘OK, I’m going to help both of these people out,” he previously told People.
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