Chris Brown Facing Jail Time for Illegal Pet Monkey

People were outraged last month when Chris Brown reportedly gave his 3-year-old daughter a baby capuchin monkey as a Christmas present.

His daughter, Royalty, can be seen cradling the monkey in a video Brown posted on Instagram. “Is this your baby? He’s going to be bigger than you,” he can be heard telling her off camera.

More than 88,000 people signed a Care2 petition telling Brown that it’s inhumane to keep monkeys as pets and urging him to give the capuchin to a sanctuary.

Baby capuchins sold as pets are often taken from their mothers in captivity when they’re just a few days old. “It is not hard to imagine the horror both baby and mother must feel during this forced separation,” notes the Jungle Mates Primate Sanctuary in Florida, where many of these pets end up. It can take months for the mother to get over her grief.

A week after the video went viral, Brown insisted the monkey, named Fiji, was not for his daughter, but for himself. Sources close to him told TMZ he’d bought the capuchin in October because he wanted to emulate his idol, Michael Jackson, who had a pet chimpanzee named Bubbles.

Brown may have also gotten the idea from rapper Mally Mall, who owns capuchins along with other exotic pets — which are legal in Las Vegas, where Mall lives. It was Mall who gave Justin Bieber a capuchin, which Bieber later abandoned in Germany when it was confiscated there. Brown can be seen playing with one of Mall’s capuchins in this video posted on TMZ.

Regardless of whether Brown or his daughter was Fiji’s official owner, the fact remains that it’s cruel to keep exotic animals like this as pets – and in California, where Brown lives, it also happens to be illegal to own one without a permit from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW).

When the CDFW heard about Brown’s pet, agents served a search warrant at his home in early January. Brown wasn’t there at the time, but he had his employees surrender Fiji to the agents. The capuchin was taken to an undisclosed facility, according to news reports.

A CDFW spokesman told the Associated Press the investigators determined Brown didn’t have a permit to keep the monkey as a pet. In California, permits to keep restricted species are issued only to qualified people or institutions “for limited purposes such as research, public exhibition or shelter,” according to the CDFW website. “Permits are not issued to import or possess any wild animal for pet purposes.”

So Brown was charged with the misdemeanor crime of keeping an exotic pet without a permit. He could spend up to six months in jail for his terrible pet choice.

Brown hasn’t yet commented about the confiscation of his capuchin but his longtime lawyer, Mark Geragos, had something to say about the case being turned over to Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

“As I leave my office in downtown L.A. and walk past people sleeping on the street on my way to defend people charged by the city attorney with selling medical marijuana … now spending taxpayer money on investigating monkey business, this completes the circle on his absurdity,” he told TMZ.

As one of those taxpayers, I’m glad my money is being spent on Feuer investigating and then hopefully punishing Brown to the full extent of the law for this “monkey business.”

And hopefully Fiji will be able to live the rest of her life in a wildlife sanctuary. Brown, whose net worth last year was $30 million, should make a generous donation to a sanctuary to help provide care for exotic pets like Fiji that have been given up by their owners. If you agree, please sign and share this petition telling him to do just that.

Photo credit: chrisbrownofficial/Instagram


michela c
michela c2 months ago

It's a shame

hELEN h2 months ago


Renata B
Renata B2 months ago

I don't know who this man is and I am happy not to know him.

Renata B
Renata B2 months ago

That photo is really revolting. Wrong on such a deep way and in so many ways. What will this child learn? Awful.

Carole R
Carole R2 months ago

A monkey is not meant to be a pet even for the rich. The shelters are full of needy cats and dogs.

Marija M
Marija M2 months ago


Marie W
Marie W5 months ago


Joanna P
Joanna P10 months ago

America rally must BAN all exotic animals.

joan s
joan silaco10 months ago

His lawyer cares so much for the homeless, then he should take care of his own neighborhood and donate money to their cause!

Veronica N
Veronica N10 months ago

It's nauseating that Chris Brown's lawyer would compare his work defending doctors providing medical marijuana to alleviate the immense suffering of patients in pain, with the time he spends defending people with too much money who want to keep wild animals as pets, causing *immense* suffering to these animals and the others used to produce them. It's an insult to doctors and pain patients everywhere. Sick people do not deserve to be treated as equally unimportant as people who need to keep exotic pets to feed their own egos, because they feel like their ability to buy these animals makes them special and unique somehow. It's a shameful thing to equate the two defendants. I'm disgusted by this man's behavior as well as to the behavior of his famous client.