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Chris Brown detained in Paris over rape claim

In this file photo taken on February 8, 2015, singer Chris Brown attends The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.—AFP

American R&B star Chris Brown is being questioned by police in Paris after being accused of raping a woman in a luxury hotel suite in the French capital, sources close to the inquiry told AFP yesterday. A 25-year-old woman has accused Brown, along with his bodyguard and a friend, of assaulting her in the high-end Mandarin Oriental last Tuesday night, a source close to the case said on condition of anonymity. She has told police she met him in a nightclub near the Champs-Elysees avenue before agreeing to join other women who went back to his hotel, which is on the glitzy boutique-lined Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore.

The Grammy Award-winning singer, 29, is also being questioned over a suspected drugs offence following his arrest on Monday, the sources said. Brown, who was pictured in Paris last week attending haute-couture fashion shows, is yet to comment. Brown was convicted in 2009 of beating fellow singer Rihanna, who was then his girlfriend and forced to miss the Grammy Awards because of her injuries. In 2016, he was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon following a standoff with Los Angeles police, after a woman said he threatened her at his home. He also pleaded guilty to assaulting a fan in Washington in 2014 and was accused of violence by a woman in Las Vegas.

In May last year, a woman filed a lawsuit against Brown over claims that one of his friends repeatedly raped her at a drunken and drug-fuelled party at the singer’s Los Angeles home in 2017. Brown was discovered by record label scouts when he was a boy working at his father’s gas station in the US state of Virginia. First identified as a rapper, he then found success with his rich singing voice, but he has been in the news more often in recent years for his legal troubles. Best known for hits in the mid-2000s such as “Kiss, Kiss” and “Run It”, Brown has released eight studio albums, six of which have gone platinum.

He has also dabbled in acting, appearing in several films as well as teen drama The OC. He counts nearly 50 million followers on Instagram, where a picture posted on Sunday showed him meeting fans in Paris. News of Brown’s arrest was first reported by the celebrity magazine Closer.-AFP

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