Pop Culture

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.

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.

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    Jason Merritt / Getty Images North America

    Image: BET Awards '11 - Press Room

    Chris Brown

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

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    Two stars for one

    R&B singer Chris Brown poses in the media room at the BET Awards 2011 held at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on June 26, 2011.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Breezy Art: Chris Brown And Guests Have A Private Tour Through MOCA Today

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    A start in street art

    Brown visits Art in the Streets the first major U.S. museum survey of graffiti and street art at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Los Angeles on May 26, 2011.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    Smiles in court

    Brown appears in court with his attorney Mark Geragos for a probation progress report hearing in Los Angeles on Jan. 28, 2011. Brown pleaded guilty to assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna, after a pre-Grammy Awards party in 2009. He was given a sentence of five years probation and ordered to complete 180 days of community labor and a year of domestic violence counseling.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    His idol

    Brown peforms a Michael Jackson tribute at the BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 27, 2010.

    AP / AP
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    On the big screen

    Brown arrives at the premiere of the film "Takers" at Arclight Cinema Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, Calif., on Aug. 4, 2010.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
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    For the record ...

    Larry King, left, speaks with Brown as his mother Joyce Hawkins, center, wipes her eye during an interview Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009, on the "Larry King Live" show in Los Angeles, his first public interview since his arrest in February for assaulting Rihanna.

    AP / AP
  • Chris Brown Sentencing

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    Receiving his sentence

    Brown stands next to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies during his sentencing hearing on Aug. 5 in Los Angeles. The singer received 5 years probation and 180 days of community labor, as the result of a plea deal, after he was charged with two felonies for assault on Rihanna.

    Pool via Getty Images / Pool via Getty Images
  • Michael Jackson memorial service

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    Remembering Michael

    Chris Brown attends the Michael Jackson public memorial service at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, July 7, 2009.

    EPA / EPA
  • R&B singer Chris Brown arrives for a preliminary hearing at a Criminal Court in Los Angeles

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    Avoiding jail

    Brown heads into court in Los Angeles for a preliminary hearing on Monday, June 22, 2009. Moments before the hearing was set to begin, an announcement was made that a plea deal had been reached in the singer's felony assault case.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Celebrity Sightings at NBA Finals

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    Magic moment

    On the same night as Rihanna, Brown attends the NBA Finals matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic on Thursday, June 11, 2009, at Amway Arena in Orlando, Fla.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Entertainer Brown stands next to his attorney Geragos as he appears for his arraignment on two felony charges in Los Angeles Superior Court

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    Not guilty plea

    Brown, right, stands next to his attorney as he appears for his arraignment on two felony charges in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, April 6, 2009. The R&B singer plead not guilty to charges stemming from an attack on Rihanna.

    Pool via Reuters / Pool via Reuters
  • Image: Chris Brown and Rihanna

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    Happier times

    Brown and Rihanna perform during the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York on Dec. 13, 2008. Brown, 19, one of the fastest rising stars of the last two years, was freed on $50,000 bail after being arrested in Los Angeles for allegedly assaulting Rihanna, whose rise to fame equals his. The incident occurred in Brown's car early Feb. 9, several hours before the two were to appear at the Grammy Awards.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    The voice

    Brown performs during a concert in Amsterdam on Jan. 16. Brown rose to fame as a sweet-faced, 16-year-old with an engaging voice and amazing dance skills with the 2005 smash hit "Run It!"

    AFP - Getty Images / AFP - Getty Images
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    Year's best

    Brown accepts the artist of the year award at the American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Nov. 23, 2008.

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    Full of promise

    Brown performs during the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York on Dec. 12, 2008. The singer has been featured in movies such as dance flick "Stomp the Yard," had top-selling tours and a string of hits, including "Forever" and "No Air" with Jordin Sparks, for which he was nominated for a Grammy in 2009.

    Reuters / Reuters
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    Crowd appeal

    The audience reaches out to touch Brown during an appearance on the TODAY show in New York's Rockefeller Center.

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    Moonman

    Brown poses backstage with his award for best male video at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards held at Paramount Pictures Studio Lot on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008, in Los Angeles.

    AP / AP
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    Orange crushed

    Brown arrives at the 21st Annual Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles, on Saturday, March 29, 2008. There was immediate fallout from Brown's arrest Feb. 9, 2009, with Wrigley stopping all ad and marketing campaigns tied to Brown, who had been their Doublemint gum pitchman.

    AP / AP
  • Image: Chris Brown

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    The moves

    Brown performs on the TODAY show in New York's Rockefeller Center on Friday, June 6, 2008.

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    What next?

    Brown performs on TODAY on Aug. 31, 2007. At the times of his arrest, Brown was near the end of promoting his platinum-selling "Exclusive" CD and was concentrating on filming movies.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: Rihanna,Chris Brown

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    Before the fall

    Rihanna and Brown are seen at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, June 1, 2008, in Los Angeles.

    AP / AP

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?

More on Usher | Chris Brown

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

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