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A victim of corporate cruelty

February 21, 2009

I was incensed by the article "Image Breaker" [by Harriet Ryan and Richard Winton, Feb. 16], which discussed the possibility of Rihanna losing endorsements in reaction to her being abused. The implication is that the physical abuse was in some way her fault or she should be held accountable for it. What lesson is that for women who've been abused? Come forward to name your attacker and you too will be punished?

Rihanna deserves praise for speaking up, particularly in the harsh light of celebrity. As for her being a role model, she deserves the title even more now for illustrating strength, courage and maturity in the midst of a terrible situation.

Sarah Pickard



I found it very disturbing that a victim of domestic violence, Rihanna, may lose endorsements due to violent, criminal behaviors committed against her. For so long, anti-domestic violence campaigns have tried to teach women that they are not to blame for being brutalized, yet corporate sponsors will be penalizing Rihanna by pulling their endorsements.

How sad it is to think that the only way she could keep her endorsements secure would be to keep silent, as many victims of domestic violence do.

I hope corporate sponsors see this as an opportunity to support and empower women by encouraging Rihanna's endeavors, not having this incident define her future.

How ironic it is that Michael Phelps has been able to retain many of his endorsements even though he made a choice to act irresponsibly and criminally. Rihanna made no choice; she is a victim and should be fully supported by her sponsors.

Michele Holman

Newport Beach

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