We all have problems, but not many of us are simultaneously revered and reviled. Such is the case with Chris Brown, whose very name upsets a lot of people, especially women and women's organizations. They still view him as something akin to "a whole new class of low."
They remain unable, or unwilling, to forgive him for the horrendous 2009 incident, when he badly physically abused his girlfriend at the time, Rihanna. Those images were chilling and are firmly implanted in people's minds.
It matters not that he paid the price, both legally — six months of community service and five years of probation — and in terms of a tarnished image; that he and Rihanna have reconciled; that he apologized to the public; and that the incident happened three years ago.
He described himself as "arrogant and hot-headed" at that time and is striving to behave consistently in a more mature manner now, although recent incidents suggest he is not totally succeeding. Moreover, he realizes he could have "lost it all."
Brown and Rihanna have worked together and been seen in public together, much to the dismay of many.
SOME SAY if the hot-tempered Chris Brown did it once, he just might do it again. Such is the nature of abusers. Well, a lot of them. But Rihanna is adamant that there will no repeat, and in the event there is, she will know what to do — leave.
However, there is nothing to suggest the two are actually getting back together in a fully committed relationship. In fact, Brown recently celebrated his 24th birthday in grand style and Rihanna was nowhere to be found.
To this day no one but the two of them know exactly what sparked Brown's outburst that fateful night. And it was wrong no matter what the circumstances were, which he has admitted repeatedly.
But keep in mind that this is the same man who threw a chair through a window at a TV station because he was furious that the "Good Morning America" anchor had asked about "the situation" when, to his way of thinking, the purpose of the interview was to promote his latest album.
"I'm so over people bringing this past s--- up!" he said at the time
HOWEVER, despite the time that had elapsed, was that all the public wanted discussed? That is a question that cannot be ignored, even though every person has a right to get on with their life. Outside of killing someone, indefinite damnation is unfair.
At the time of the incident, Brown said, though not everyone believed him, "I'm in shock because, first of all, that's not who I am as a person, and that's not who I promise I want to be."
A number of radio stations pulled Brown's music from rotation.
And let's not forget his ongoing war with Drake that at one point led to a full-blown brawl; his well-publicized skirmish with Frank Ocean, resulting in Brown punching Ocean; or the recent temper tantrum he had over, believe it or not, a $10 valet fee.
This is a man who definitely needs anger control treatment.
NEVERTHELESS, there have been plenty of bright sides as well, some of which have occurred since 2009.
His third album, "Graffiti," was released the same year as the incident and despite the controversy and the venom coming his way, was a huge success. It was, in fact, his first album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.
The follow-up album, "F.A.M.E.," released in early 2011, was also a major success, earning Brown his first Grammy Award, in the Best R&B Album category.
His fifth album, "Fortune," came out in mid-2012 and like its two predecessors, reached the apex of the Billboard chart.
He also appeared in the movie "Think Like a Man."
Perhaps all was forgiven in some quarters, or at least there were those in and outside of the industry willing to separate the artist from his personal life.
TO AN EXTENT, Chris Brown has not been able to avoid comparisons, particularly with Usher although with typical candor he proclaimed, "I think I can beat Usher on the dance floor!"
He is also a bit of an exhibitionist, and full frontal nude pictures can easily be found on the Internet.
Perhaps Rihanna knows Chris Brown best.
"When you add up the pieces from the outside, it's not the cutest puzzle in the world," she said. "It's different now. We don't have those types of arguments anymore. We value each other."
Let's just hope "Mt. Chris Brown" doesn't erupt again anytime soon — or ever.
"He's not the monster
everybody thinks he is. He's a good person. He has a fantastic heart. He's fun to be around."