Did Rihanna & Chris Brown Reconcile?

It's a story that shocked the entertainment world -- accusations of domestic violence between two of the hottest stars in music. But now Rihanna and Chris Brown appear to be back together.

The singers have reportedly reconciled less than three weeks after Brown allegedly assaulted Rihanna the night before the Grammy Awards.

According to People magazine, the couple made up after Brown called Rihanna on her 21st birthday, ten days ago. And now there are reports of the two spending time together at media mogul Diddy's Florida mansion.


Photos: Rihanna
Fresh photos reveal Rihanna, wearing a white bikini in Mexico just before her trip to Florida, and Brown, riding a jet ski off Miami.

Photos: Chris Brown
The two go head to head today when voting begins for Nickelodeon's "Kid's Choice Awards." Her "Don't Stop The Music" and his "Kiss Kiss" are competing for best song.

Julie Dam, People's senior editor and clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere talked to Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen about the apparent reconciliation.

"Julie, People broke the story that they got back together. How did it happen?" Chen asked.

"Well, you know he did reach out to her on her birthday last week. And since then they've sort of been mutually talking. And as of last week, they were together in Miami," Dam said.

"Was that the first time that they spoke, when he called her on her birthday, or had they been in contact all along and maybe never really broke up?" Chen asked.

"I think it was sort of the big moment when he called her on her birthday and they both care about each other, we're told, and they want to work out their issues," Dam said.

"Jeff, does this surprise you that they're back together?"

"Julie, it doesn't surprise me at all because we see, in the cycle of domestic violence, if, in fact, this happened and we think it has, of course, that when the perpetrator, the abuser, finds himself in a situation of he's in trouble in the relationship, he's on the outs in the relationship, he will beg to come back. He will send gifts, and we know gifts have been sent. He will say, 'I won't do it again.' And with the victim of the domestic violence, we find that they sometimes blame themselves or feel that they're responsible for what has happened," Gardere said.

Gardere also pointed to the love factor.

"These are two young people, and if you're in love, it's just very difficult to say goodbye even though this can be a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation now and in the future," he explained.

Considering Rihanna is only 21 and Brown is 19, Chen inquired if youth played a role in the apparent reconciliation.

"You know what? I don't think it's just about the youth here, because we see that older folks in their 30's, 40's and so on, who are involved in domestic violence. They break up and they come back together. It's very rare that we see someone actually walk away from an issue of domestic violence. Again, being younger, perhaps they may not have the wherewithal or the wisdom to say, 'We're really in trouble.' But they're probably hearing it from the parents and the fans, of course, more than anything else," Gardere said.

"What's the likeliness that there will be abuse in the future if they stay together?" Chen asked.

"If they stay together and this abuse has happened, there's a very high probability it will happen again, especially if this individual, Chris, does not get some sort of counseling and if Rihanna doesn't force him to be in counseling or them being in counseling together. Because we find out that some of the female victims of domestic violence, quite often, end up choosing other people, who are abusers because they don't work out the emotional issues that may draw them to those people who perpetrate violence against them," Gardere said.

"Earlier Dr. Gardere mentioned that gifts were involved, not just contact, not just a phone call. Do you know what gifts were involved that he got her for her birthday?" Chen asked.

"We don't know what gifts exactly, but we definitely know that they have been in contact and he's saying that he is really sad and reflective about what happened, but he's really happy to be with the woman he loves," Dam said.

"What does this do to their careers, this reconciliation?" Chen asked.

"I think it remains to be seen. We want to hear what they both have to say about this. The initial response from fans is one of shock. Some people are very disappointed. But, we need to know what they are going to say about this," Dam said.

"And something very disturbing we found out, many of the young women who are fans, or some of them, at least, have said maybe she deserved this. Maybe she pushed his buttons. So that's why, when we deal with domestic violence, we have to also deal with the victims, too, and look at their psychological mindset. Are they into stereotype thinking that they have to be the hand maidens to some of these guys, especially the ones who are abusers. You have to treat it all across the board, not just the perpetrators," Gardere said.