While neither party has commented on the altercation, Rihanna is said to have experienced physical violence that left her bruised. Speculation on the altercation will no doubt continue for sometime in the tabloids and on the web.
Dealing with a personal matter such as this would be emotionally damaging for anyone. The fact is, Rihanna is not anyone. She is a pop icon in the public eye. For this reason, Rihanna's personal matter has quickly become a public affair. Rihanna will now have to worry about more that her emotional and physical well being.
Public relations professional Howard Bragman, commented on the situation in a recent report from MTV News. "It's ridiculously hard to deal with this in the public eye - Rihanna and Chris have to deal with this in the court of law - and they have to deal with the court of public opinion."
Rihanna has already begun to receive positive and negative feedback from her fans regarding the altercation. Although those individuals have no first hand knowledge of the altercation, they will continue to speculate and give their feedback on the situation. Many people, including myself, wonder how this situation will affect Rihanna's career.
I personally believe Rihanna will bounce back from this unfortunate situation. Over the past few years she has established herself as a young music professional with multiple hits and international popularity. While Rihanna's popularity and talent are undeniable, they should not be relied on to save her career.
Rihanna's situation is extreme, and has no doubt attracted more attention than the typical crisis of a business professional or corporation. The significance of a crisis, however, is not always determined by how many are paying attention, but who is paying attention.
Celebrities, business professionals and corporations can experience an unexpected crisis at any time. Every crisis deals with speculation, rumors and outsiders with limited knowledge of the situation. A crisis may occur within an organization boasting a positive reputation, product or skills. Even so, these attributes should never be relied upon to mend a crisis.
It is important for public relations practitioners to plan for unexpected situations so they can direct clients to respond with a high level of integrity and the knowledge of who may be affected. Addressing a crisis in this manner may not repair all damages. It will however, demonstrate your client's personal accountability and dedication to moving forward.