The US legal system is about to raise the curtain on what promises to be its next great celebrity media circus: the prosecution of Chris Brown on charges of beating up his ex-girlfriend and fellow pop star, Rihanna.
The R&B singer will appear at Los Angeles Superior Court this morning for a preliminary hearing to determine whether he should face trial for an altercation that occurred in a rented Lamborghini car in the early hours of the morning of February’s Grammy Awards. Mr Brown stands accused of punching and threatening to kill Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Fenty, before leaving her to be discovered by police, bloodied and bruised, by the side of a road in the city's Hancock Park district. If found guilty, he faces up to five years in prison.
Television cameras have been banned from the courtroom.
A police photo taken after the incident, which was leaked to a tabloid website, showed the singer’s face bruised, swollen and covered in cuts. Both stars have huge fan bases.