Chris Brown's Mom: Rihanna 'Like a Daughter'
Says pop star was part of the family
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2009 8:12 AM CDT
Donald Etra and Rihanna are seen during the preliminary hearing in the Chris Brown felony assault case on June 22, 2009, in Los Angeles County Superior Court.   (AP Photo/Lori Shepler, Pool)
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(Newser) – Chris Brown's mom says Rihanna was "like a daughter" to her, and that made the domestic assault ordeal all the more difficult. "I love her," Joyce Hawkins tells People. "She became family to us." Brown was sentenced last month to 5 years of probation and 6 months of community labor for the Feb. 8 attack. It all came as a shock, Hawkins says: "He’s always been my little angel."

"It was the most painful moment in my life to hear him tell me that," she says. "I just sighed and was like, 'What in the world happened?' And you know he started talking, but I could see the pain in his face and how hurt he was while he was trying to tell me. It wasn't easy for him to do."