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Chewing gum makers Wrigley suspends Chris Brown

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Chewing gum makers Wrigley on Monday suspended a commercial featuring Chris Brown after the popular R&B singer was arrested on suspicion of attacking a woman widely reported to be his singer girlfriend Rihanna.

Singer Chris Brown was arrested and charged with making criminal threats on Sunday. Los Angeles police officer Karen Smith says Brown walked into a station around 7 p.m. and was being interviewed by detectives. He released on $50,000 bail, according to a Los Angeles Police Department statement.

Both the Brown and Rihanna camps were silent on Monday. Police sources told the Los Angeles Times and celebrity Web site TMZ.com that the woman who reported she had been attacked by Brown in the early hours of Sunday was 20-year-old Rihanna, singer of hits “Umbrella” and “Disturbia.”

Brown, who was competing against Rihanna in a Grammy category, was a spokesman for Doublemint gum and his hit song “Forever” was part of that advertising campaign.

Wrigley said in a statement it was “concerned by the serious allegations” made against Brown, who was booked by police on suspicion of making a felony criminal threat. The company said that while Brown should be afforded due legal process “we have made the decision to suspend the current advertising featuring Brown…until the matter is resolved.”

Brown is also a pitchman for the long-running Got Milk? campaign, in which celebrities are photographed with a milk mustache. The Milk Processor Education Program said his participation was scheduled to end this week, as planned.

“The Milk Mustache campaign is taking the allegations against Chris Brown very seriously,” the Washington, D.C.-based trade group said in a statement. “We are very proud and protective of the image of the Milk Mustache campaign and the responsible message it sends to teens.”

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Rihanna’s injuries were severe — two “huge contusions” which swelled up on both sides of her forehead. We’re told she also suffered “a bloody lip and nose.” Celebrity Web site Radaronline quoted an unidentified eyewitness who said she had seen Rihanna being treated at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday.

The incident appeared to be out of character for Brown, who has been dating Barbados-born Rihanna for about a year and helped produce her album. Los Angeles prosecutors are considering whether to formally charge Brown, who could face up to three years in prison if convicted, legal sources said.

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February 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm