Rihanna is due in court today in the assault hearing of former boyfriend Chris Brown stemming from an alleged beating in February.
The pop singer, 21, may be required to take the stand and testify against Brown in the preliminary hearing, scheduled for 1:45 p.m. PST. The hearing will focus on whether there is enough evidence to continue the case against Brown.
Donald Etra, Rihanna’s lawyer, has maintained that she will cooperate with authorities. This afternoon's appearance will mark her first in court since felony assault and criminal threats charges were filed against Brown in March.
If she is called to testify, the 21-year-old singer would be subject to cross-examination by Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos.
Indeed, her testimony will be critical in the case against the embattled Brown. But questions linger as to whether or not she will maintain her accusations against him that she provided to the LAPD the night of the alleged assault.
According to TMZ, Rihanna claimed that the Feb. 8 attack – where he allegedly hit and choked her in a rented car— was not the first assault against her at the hands of Brown.
If the case goes to trial, Geragos is expected to argue that Rihanna was the initial aggressor, hitting Brown repeatedly over text messages received from a former lover before he fought back, TMZ reports.
Other evidence will likely include the graphic pictures taken of Rihanna after the alleged attack, one of which was leaked to press. Multiple reports claim that the released photo -- which shows the Covergirl spokeswoman with multiple bruises on her face and her eyes swollen shut -- pales in comparison to those that have not been released.
Last month, a judge rejected a motion by Geragos to receive police and investigative records related to the case and the apparent leak of the photo of a beaten and bruised Rihanna.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Patricia Schnegg told Geragos the motion was premature and he could file it again after the preliminary hearing.
Brown will also be required to attend the hearing. The 20-year-old R&B singer faces possible sentences that range from probation to nearly five years in prison if convicted.
Geragos argued that he should have access to the records to properly cross-examine police witnesses during the preliminary hearing. He also said intense public interest in the case should require the records' release.
Schnegg said Brown's fame wasn't an issue she was going to consider. She also called Geragos' motion "a fishing expedition."
She also said the records, which Geragos wants to use to search for police bias or misconduct, don't have anything to do with Brown's arrest. She said officers responded to a 911 call and the "Run It!" singer was arrested well before the photo of Rihanna's battered face was posted by celebrity gossip Web site TMZ.
Reps for both Brown and Rihanna have refused to address their current relationship, but Etra said Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, was following the case closely.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.