Footage circulating online show American rapper Chris Brown lighting a cigarette in the Brussels nightclub Bloody Louis, violating the ban on smoking in closed public spaces that has been in force for over ten years in Belgium.
The footage was taken two weeks ago, on Friday 3 March, when Brown went to the nightclub on Avenue Louise for an "after party" following his concert at Palais 12 at the Heysel site. In numerous videos taken by fans, the rapper is smoking inside his VIP area, La Capitale reports.
"The case has been passed on to the inspection service, which will decide whether a ticket will be sent to the smoker and/or Bloody Louis," a lawyer from the Federal Public Health Service told the newspaper. The rapper risks a fine of €208 to €6,000.
The lawyer added that it is not customary to send an official report based on images: there must be certainty that a crime took place and no doubt about the person committing it. It must also be a recent incident.
The founder of the Bloody Louis nightclub, Jon Tyler, regrets the incident but clarifies that Brown was not smoking a joint and that the club immediately asked him to stop, which he did. "It is a pity. We are against smoking but unfortunately we do not always have the option to stop him the moment he lights a cigarette."
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He added that it is "just the reality" that stars often get preferential treatment. "In practice, the law is not the same for everyone. If Brad Pitt comes to eat at a restaurant tomorrow and lights a cigarette in the kitchen, I am not sure if the owner will stop him."