As Hollywood’s biggest stars primped for the Oscars, Rihanna gathered a celeb-free circle of friends Friday to celebrate her 21st birthday. And while her ex, Chris Brown, wasn’t on the guest list, the pop star couldn’t escape him completely. “Chris called Rihanna to wish her a happy birthday,” an insider says. “He’s absolutely trying to get back into her good graces. He knows he’s very much in the doghouse right now, and is doing everything he can to show her how sorry he is.” If he’s out to prove his love, Brown is going to have to do more than play puppy dog.
The crooner stands accused of assaulting her during an argument that left her face cut and bruised. But Brown seems to think a few well-placed birthday gifts can salve his ex’s wounds. He has already sent the “Good Girl Gone Bad” singer a diamond bracelet and necklace, an insider tells us, as well as an iPod Touch. Plus, Brown’s mom, Joyce, who is said to adore Rihanna, sent over a bouquet of flowers. Sound creepy? Unfortunately, the attention seems to be working.
RiRi may just reconcile with Brown, say sources.“Rihanna so wanted Chris with her on her big day, but obviously realizes why they can’t be together right now,” our insider says. “But it’s becoming more and more clear that she can’t be without him.” For the time being, the singer’s friends are helping keep her free of her allegedly abusive ex. Friday’s party — held in a rented house in the Hollywood Hills — had a Monte Carlo-worthy casino theme, with professional croupiers brought in to deal for the pop princess and a few choice friends. “Her theme was ‘Blackjack 21’ and all the guests gambled,” says our snitch. “And although there was alcohol available, Rihanna wasn’t drinking.”
The gorgeous songbird had something to celebrate besides her B-day — she’s healing quickly from her recent injuries. “She hasn’t scarred or anything,” our insider reports. “She was in a great mood. She was really celebrating not just her birthday, but life in general.” Following the intimate gathering, Rihanna hopped into a waiting car and jetted off to her native Barbados, where she finished out her birthday weekend with her mom.