From Chris Brown To Swine Flu And Back

By Lisa Gonzalez

Chris Brown was expected to appear in court today in Los Angeles but ultimately didn’t show, with his lawyer revealing that he’s trying to get the case dismissed. Every media outlet in the greater L.A. area, however, did show up — though most of them had swine flu on the brain.

I arrived at the courthouse at 7:30 a.m. to cover Brown’s court appearance, along with my camera guy Erick. We circled the building repeatedly, checking every possible entrance, but found no sign of Chris. Now, I find it difficult to form thoughts before my morning cup of coffee, so it took me awhile to realize there were no other press outlets there. Or protesters. Or even paparazzi! (And those guys always show up anywhere in L.A. a celeb might be.)

By this time, we got word that Brown wasn’t coming, but I noticed several media trucks gathering at another courthouse. The first thought in my caffeine-free mind was: “Rihanna must be here!”


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We high-tailed it five blocks with all our gear and stepped right into a media circus. Another crew told me the lawyers were issuing a statement in 10 minutes. Great! We got our camera ready, wedged our news mic onto the podium, and we were ready to go.

Then I heard rumblings about swine flu. The next slow-forming thought surfaced: “The swine flu?!? This isn’t for Rihanna?!?” Apparently the other big story at the courthouse today had something to do with the swine-flu epidemic.

Two breaking-news stories at the same location — what were the chances? Eventually, we got our story as we made our way to the other courthouse just in time to catch Rihanna’s lawyer exiting the building. All in a day’s work!