Jay-Z: Have ‘compassion’ for Rihanna
By Dave Goldiner
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Updated Sunday, February 15th 2009, 2:59 PM
Jay-Z is encouraging fans to have compassion for his protegee, Rihanna.
Rapper Jay-Z stood up for his pal Rihanna, calling on fans to think of her like a family member who suffered abuse.
“You have to have compassion for others,” Jay-Z, 39, told People magazine. “Just imagine it being your sister or mom and then think about how we should talk about that.”
The hip-hop mogul helped Rihanna, 20, launch her career and some reports said he was furious at her boyfriend, Chris Brown, for allegedly beating her up after a pre-Grammys party last weekend.
He took a more conciliatory note, not mentioning Brown in a brief interview in Phoenix, where he attended the NBA All-Star weekend.
“I just think we should all support her. She’s going through a tough time,” Jay-Z said. “You have to realize she’s a young girl, as well. She’s very young.”
Rihanna was allegedly attacked in Los Angeles on Feb. 8 by boyfriend Brown, 19. He was arrested and the L.A. prosecutor is preparing charges against him.
The “Umbrella” singer suffered bruises and a split lip and has not been seen in public since.
Relatives said she fled to her homeland of Barbados where she is staying with friends while she recovers.
Asked if he’d seen Rihanna, Jay-Z refused to comment. “I don’t want to go into it,” he said.
Right after news of the beat-down surfaced last weekend, several media outlets reported that Jay-Z was furious at Brown for hitting Rihanna, whom he considers a protege.
They pointed to his low-key performance at the Grammys as evidence that he was upset over the attack, which forced Rihanna and Brown to scrap planned appearances at the gala.
Pals of the Brooklyn-born rapper were quoted as saying he planned to order street revenge on Brown. Sources close to Jay-Z told the News those reports were ridiculous and he was only worried about Rihanna’s well-being.