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Why did Usher back down on Brown criticism?

As brutal details emerged in the Chris Brown-Rihanna assault case, observers were left to wonder why some celebrities who spoke out against Brown’s behavior later softened their stances.
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As brutal details emerged in the Chris Brown-Rihanna assault case, observers were left to wonder why some celebrities who spoke out against Brown’s behavior later softened their stances.

Exhibit 1-A is Usher, who chastised Brown for not showing remorse and instead going water-skiing in Miami over the weekend.

But then Usher soft-pedaled, issuing a March 3 statement saying, "The comments made during a recent recording session amongst friends were taken out of context and blown out of proportion. I apologize on behalf of myself and my friends if anyone was offended. The intentions were not to pass judgment and we meant no harm. I respect and wish the best for all parties involved."

What? The state of California has an issue with Brown’s behavior but Usher doesn’t?

Not necessarily. According to a friend of Rihanna’s, the apology is meant as a sign of support for her, not Brown.

“Everybody loves Rihanna," the friend said. "They don’t necessarily want her with Chris, but the second it was clear she was back with him, all of her friends rallied around her, stopped saying bad things about Chris. It might be what they’re thinking, but more than anything she needs support. And that’s what she’ll get.”

L.C. moves on to a life of white and small prints
The time has come for Lauren Conrad to hang up her headband — she’s leaving “The Hills” to have a real life.

In an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, Conrad reveals some of the things she won’t miss about having the cameras focused on her. For one, balancing her life as seen on MTV and her real life (so to speak) was becoming “very confusing,” Conrad said.

Also, she said she didn’t feel safe when fans found out where she was living.

What is she looking forward to? Fashion liberation. “Now I can wear white and small prints," Conrad said. "White doesn’t show up well on film and small prints give a weird effect.”

You twitter, I deliver: 'Bachelor' and ‘Jon & Kate'The burning questions from the Twitteratti had to do largely with “The Bachelor” and the “Jon & Kate Plus 8” gossip that’s circulating.

Chris Brown

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Chris Brown

A young star in the world of R&B bounces back from a devastating arrest for assault.

First the was-it-staged-or-wasn’t-it question regarding “The Bachelor” controversy, in which Seattle single dad Jason Mesnick dumped fiancee Melissa Rycroft at the show's televised reunion and instead got back together with Molly Malaney.

The producers have already said that they had “zero” influence on the end result, and I can say with near certainty that this is true.

My sources say that “the break-up was all (Mesnick's) own. No producers got in the way. It’s hard to believe because it’s just such a cold move, but that’s the deal.”

And, as for Jon and Kate Gosselin, the parents in TLC big-brood reality show “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” rumors of marriage trouble heated up when Jon showed up at a party populated largely by the Juniata College crowd near his mother’s home of Huntington, Pa.

This week’s In Touch has details of Gosselin's beer pong-fueled evening at the Memories Bar where he was reportedly overheard talking divorce. Take it with a grain of salt, though until Jon or Kate have something to say. (You can send questions via Twitter to @courtneyatmsnbc.)

Weekend box office predictionThere’s no question here, “Watchmen” will be number one at the box office this weekend.

First, it’s the only really wide release. Second, there’s no way “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” can top this cult following.

The only question is: how much money will “Watchmen” make?

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Courtney Hazlett delivers the Scoop Monday through Friday on Follow Scoop on Twitter: @ courtneyatmsnbc.