But Nelly, who enlisted the Kiss Kiss singer for his new album 5.0, is adamant Chris Brown is a different man from the "kid" he was at the time of the attack.
He tells Britain's Daily Star, "What people seem to forget is that this was a kid, a kid that made a mistake that, sadly, grown men make every day. If we're going to give anyone the benefit of the doubt, it should be a kid.
"Chris has been through a lot, he's learned his lesson now. He's such a talented kid, such a great singer and I always knew that would prevail."