Chris Brown Faces Prison Sentence Over Allegedly Owning Monkey

By Colin Fredericson

Singer Chris Brown faces legal action for keeping a pet capuchin monkey illegally.

Brown earlier faced criticism after he posted a video of the monkey being held by his daughter, who was 3-years-old at the time. Chris Brown claims he doesn’t own the monkey, and that the video was taken in Las Vegas at a relatives house, TMZ reported. He claims the relative owns the monkey.

But authorities took custody of the monkey in Los Angeles, the city where Brown lives, which Brown claims is a coincidence, saying the relative happened to be in town with the monkey. If convicted Brown faces a maximum of six months in prison. A judge will hear the case on Feb. 6, according to TMZ.

According to data from Born Free USA, practically all wild animals are forbidden as pets in California. But Nevada has looser laws related to what kinds of animals a person can own. Many wild animals can still be kept as pets without a permit, including monkeys.

Chris Brown’s latest Instagram post may lend a clue to how he feels about the situation.

“One day they will make a movie about this kid, saying how he was one of the greats and stared adversity in the eyes and stood tall no matter what they threw at him. HE MADE MUSIC THAT MATTERED AND HELPED SO MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE IN THEIR ABILITIES TO MANIFEST THEIR OWN DESTINY. it’s pretty sad that all these things will be recognized when IM GONE! ❤️. BUT FOR NOW, IMA REMAIN HUMBLE/CREATIVE (MYSelf) And ultimately elevate my CONSCIOUSNESS,” Brown wrote in the text area to a black and white photo post of himself kneeling.

Wildlife experts say a capuchin monkey is a poor choice for a pet, according to the Associated Press. At around 5-years-old, they can start to become aggressive. Wildlife experts say that what appeals to humans about them, the ability to turn pages, operate a remote control, and open bottles, isn’t enough to offset the downsides.

“They are destructive. They can tear a house apart. We are talking rip the curtains down, knock everything off every shelf you have. Think about a critter—who is more agile and able to reach places than a cat—having a tantrum. You can’t house train them. They evolve to live in trees,” said Dr. Stephen Zawistowski, executive vice president and science adviser for the ASPCA in New York, told the Associated Press. He said that in the United States less than 100,000 capuchins are kept as pets.

The executive director of Primarily Primates, a primate sanctuary in Texas, saw a rise in capuchins at the sanctuary, which he attributes to a Hollywood trend pushed by movies and TV shows like “Friends,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and “Night at the Museum,” according to the Associated Press.

“Can you imagine going into the jungle, grabbing a monkey out of a tree and taking him home? He’d rip your face off—as he should, as he should,” said Lynn Cuny, founder and chief executive of Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Inc., in Kendalia, Texas.