Brown was on the ABC morning show Tuesday to promote his new album, "F.A.M.E.," released the same day. During his interview with Roberts, she asked him about the 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend -- preceding her questions by noting he had been "very good" about talking about the attack.
"It was very serious what you went through and what happened," she said. "How have you been able to ..."
A clearly agitated Brown tried to deflect the line of questioning, saying he was past that and wanted to focus on his new CD.
"This album is what I want them to talk about and not what happened two years ago," he said.
Roberts laughed and thanked Brown for letting her discuss that matter with him, and after the interview, Brown performed.
But instead of performing another song for the online audience, as he was scheduled to do, he went to his dressing room and started smashing things, according to the person.
In a statement, ABC News said: "As always, we ask questions that are relevant and newsworthy, and that's what we did in this interview with Mr. Brown."
Reps for Brown did not immediately return phone calls for comment. Brown is on probation for his assault on Rihanna.
Brown has been trying to rehabilitate his image since the attack, which occurred on the eve of the Grammys two years ago. After that, his once brilliant career was tarnished. His album "Graffiti," released several months after that, was a poor seller.
However, he's recently had success on the charts with the songs "Deuces," a No. 1 R&B hit last year, and "Look At Me Now" is now No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
He's been more accepted into the mainstream as well. Before his "GMA" appearance, he had appeared on NBC's "Saturday Night Live." A rep for ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" said Brown is still slated to appear on the show next week.
A judge last November commended Brown, a Virginia native, for working hard to complete his community service and for almost finishing his domestic violence counseling. He has since finished the counseling.
Last month, a judge, while praising Brown's progress, eased a restraining order that had prevented Brown from coming within 50 feet of Rihanna after Rihanna said she didn't object. The new order prevents him from being within 10 feet of Rihanna at an industry event.
Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately return an email seeking comment.