Pop star/model Rihanna remains in seclusion, but a photo allegedly showing her battered face is all over the Internet today. The photo first appeared on the celebrity gossip website TMZ last night. Newsradio KNX 1070 has the photo on its site. Ironically, today is Rihanna’s 21st birthday.
Last night, the LAPD put up a statement questioning the source of the photo on its website: ” The unauthorized release of a domestic violence photograph immediately generated an internal investigation. At about 7 p.m. on February 19, 2009, the Los Angeles Police Department Media Relations Section began receiving numerous inquiries about the release of a photograph associated with a domestic violence incident that occurred on February 8, 2009, involving entertainer Chris Brown. The photograph appeared on an entertainment website. The photograph has the appearance of one taken during an official Domestic Violence investigation.
The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence.
The Department launched an immediate internal investigation and subsequently filed a personnel complaint.
A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination.
Anyone with information concerning the unauthorized release of the photograph is asked to call, during regular business hours, 213-485-4152. After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to our 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247). Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips. When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.”
That alleged domestic violence incident occurred after a pre-Grammy affair on a street in Los Angeles. Pop singer Chris Brown and a woman got into an argument, which apparently turned violent. By the time the police arrived only the woman was still at the scene. The police have refused to identify the woman, but some media sources claim it was Brown’s long time girlfriend, Rihanna.
Brown released his own statement on Sunday, February 15, saying he was “sorry and saddened” by the incident. Brown was booked by the LAPD for making criminal threats and is free on $50,000 bond. His case is due to go to court on March 5.