What does one wife beater say to another?
Apparently, it goes something along the lines of: "It's just life, man."
That's what actor Terrence Howard told the press after it was announced that Chris Brown was arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, Rihanna. He went on to say, "Chris is a great guy. He'll be all right. And Rihanna knows he loves her."
Later, Howard apologized for his remarks. But it didn't erase that squeamish feeling many of us experienced after hearing him side with the alleged abuser rather than the victim.
The Smoking Gun, seemingly suffering the same squeamishness, did some digging. And what they uncovered sheds light on why Howard might have said the words in the first place. Like Brown, he has a history of domestic violence.
Police and court records show that the Hustle and Flow star was arrested in September 2001 for assaulting his estranged wife, Lori McCommas.
According to a Whitemarsh (Pennsylvania) Police Department report, the assault began with threats over the phone. Howard said: "Don't disrespect me by hanging up on me or I'll come over and hurt you." McCommas, "fearing Howard was serious," then "hung up and contacted 911." While she was still on the phone with the dispatcher, Howard "showed up at the victim's residence and began breaking the door down." He proceeded to chase her through the house, grab her by the left arm and punch her "twice with a closed fist in the left side of the face."
The Smoking Gun says that: "After being charged with a variety of crimes (simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment and stalking), Howard subsequently pleaded guilty in 2002 to disorderly conduct."
We've said it before and we'll say it again. Domestic violence is unacceptable. And we truly hope that, despite his decision to side with Chris Brown, Howard has done (and will continue to do) everything in his power to reform himself.
Photo: Splash News