Bobby Brown charged with battery
Singer charged after altercation with wife Whitney Houston
Bobby Brown in an undated file photo
ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Singer Bobby Brown was charged with battery Wednesday after a weekend altercation with his wife, singer Whitney Houston, in which he allegedly threatened to "beat her ass," authorities said.
Brown appeared with his lawyer before a judge Wednesday afternoon after meeting with detectives and a court solicitor, said Fulton County Police Cpl. Kurtis Young.
He was charged with one count of battery under Georgia's domestic violence law and released. He must return to North Fulton Magistrate Court to answer the charge January 7, according to Fulton County Police.
Video from a local news station showed Houston and Brown at the court appearance, Houston with a visible bruise on her left cheek. The couple kissed and held each other as they entered the county building.
"We're still together," Houston told reporters as the couple left the court house with their arms around each other.
As they drove away, the song "You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)" blared on the stereo as Houston sang along and Brown kissed her bruised cheek.
Under Georgia's domestic violence law, the state automatically files charges when domestic violence is suspected by law enforcement officials.
The alleged victim has no say in whether charges are filed, but can choose to cooperate with the investigation or not, Young said.
Nancy Seltzer, Houston's publicist, issued a statement Wednesday she said came from a family spokesman.
"Bobby Brown is very apologetic about what happened and hopes his wife forgives him," the statement said.
Police were called to Brown and Houston's home at about 8:30 p.m. Sunday night.
"Upon arrival, officers spoke with Ms. Houston, who said Brown confronted her and stated he was going to 'beat her ass.' Shortly thereafter, Mr. Brown struck her with an open right hand, according to Ms. Houston's statement to police," said a police news release.
Police said Houston had visible injuries to her face, including a bruise on her left cheek and a cut inside her upper lip.
Brown was not there when police arrived. Brown said he was headed to the airport for a flight to Los Angeles, California, police said.
In January, Brown served an eight-day sentence in the DeKalb County, Georgia, jail after he pleaded guilty to a 1996 drunken driving charge and a count of speeding.