R&B superstar Chris Brown faced the wrath of fans after wishing Rihanna a happy 30th birthday on 20 February, but insiders state that his gesture isn't surprising considering they are friends and still speak regularly.
In February 2009, the New Flame hitmaker attacked then-girlfriend RiRi after a pre-Grammy awards party in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to community service, a probation order and a five-year restraining order after pleading no contest to the assault charges in court later that year.
The pair reconciled and dated briefly in 2012 before splitting again the following year.
Brown, 28, celebrated his former girlfriend's milestone by sharing a vintage photo of the singer with his 42m Instagram followers. The accompanying caption read: "HAPPY BIRTHDAY @badgalriri".
As he has turned off his comments, members of the online community flocked to Twitter to lambast him.
One critic wrote: "Chris Brown fans really want us to forgive his woman beating ass. Domestic abuse ISNT a mistake it's a CONSCIOUS choice. Rihanna going back to him didn't excuse his behaviour as most domestic abuse victims do it continuously. He was cancelled after that & always will be."
Another said: "How cute Rihanna's physically abusive ex-boyfriendd wished her a happy birthday."
Although fans have struggled to forgive and forget, sources say the pair have moved on from the assault. "They are good friends and talk all the time," a source told Us Weekly.
In 2016, Brown told WWD ( Women's Wear Daily), that he has moved on from the assault and wished his critics would do the same. The r'n'b singer, said that while he knows he will never be free from the domestic violence stigma, he is tired of apologising for past mistakes.
"I'm 27. That's 10 years ago. I'm pretty sure 10 years ago, you might have done some s**t where you were like, 'Damn, I'm a bigger person.'"