Chris Brown | Law Enforcement | Los Angeles | Music | News | Rihanna

Photo of Rihanna Shortly After Chris Brown Beating Leaked to TMZ

A bloodied and bruised photo of pop singer Rihanna appeared last night on the TMZ website.


The LAPD release a statement last night with regard to the shot, apparently taken shortly after the incident involving singer Chris Brown the night before the Grammys: 

"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."

Image, AFTER THE JUMP (warning: graphic)...


Singer Chris Brown Booked for Alleged Assault of Rihanna [tr]


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  1. I hope it ends Chris Brown's career. And I hope he has to do some hard time. Seriously.

    Posted by: sparks | Feb 20, 2009 8:26:24 AM

  2. Ugh, I really didn't need to see that. But, in some ways we all need to see what the hell DV really looks like.

    While it's important for folks to understand the problem of domestic violence, the person who released the photo needs to be fired, just like that person who released Britney Spears (I think) medical records a while back.

    Posted by: MAJeff | Feb 20, 2009 8:45:32 AM

  3. Someone at the LAPD lose his/her job for leaking this photo.

    Posted by: noah | Feb 20, 2009 8:46:28 AM

  4. As a victim of abuse, this man needs serous counseling. NO ONE deserves what happened to Rihanna. Sadly, I have read that she is now back with Chris Brown, a very common and unfortunate factor in domestic violence. Brown needs serious time and a lot of therapy.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 20, 2009 8:52:50 AM

  5. The sad thing is that Chris Brown will do more time in jail for beating up his girlfriend than any killer of gay man in this country ever would.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 20, 2009 8:53:25 AM


    Can't seem to get your TIPS or CONTACT Button to work.

    If you see this could you possibly make a mention of this CALL TO ACTION today. We could really use the support even if you live outside the area by making a call. Its very important.


    Posted by: Jeff | Feb 20, 2009 8:54:00 AM

  7. My best friend whose boyfriend has beat her in the past is now back with him, too. Ugh.

    Posted by: Ben Candles | Feb 20, 2009 9:14:24 AM

  8. I think rumors that Rihanna is "back with" Chris Brown are strictly rumors; the last credible report had her cooperating with police. If she were to fail to file charges and/or get back with him, she might as well be blacklisted along with Brown for the damage she would do to young women and our society in general. But I feel she is going to press charges and not let him off the hook so easily.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Feb 20, 2009 9:43:27 AM

  9. If you all "care" so much volunteer at a domestic violence shelter; this incident, beating, attack is just senseless chatter of people who are far beyond the reach of the average person.

    Check out your local shelters here:

    She is capable of making her own decisions and if she is better or worse for it so be it. I am sure that she has enough people "close" to her and "close" to him directing their mediocre but highly visible and famous lives.

    Just look at Tina Turner she survived it and WOW her concerts are AWESOME, maybe Rihanna is laying the groundwork for this in the future. No one can know what is in their mind therefore I really do not care about these celebrities who have MORE resources and money than MOST.

    Again if you "really care", go to a local domestic violence shelter, share you support to a REAL person not a fake person who you will NEVER meet and assist. Or is it easier this way.

    Posted by: You Know Me | Feb 20, 2009 9:53:52 AM

  10. From the picture posted on TMZ - that was not what might be called a "Bitch Slap" it was a down and out Beating! He obviously did not stop at just a simple slap - it's clear that there were several blows most likely open and closed fists and hands.. DV is not pretty and the public needs to see and hear from the victims - yes it might be embarrassing to the victim but it may potentially save their lives and get them the help they need to free themselves from their abuser..As well as ensuring that the abuser never does this again. What is sad as well is that Chris Brown is a very young Man and for his response to be so violent and hurtful clearly shows he has not matured nor grown to understand how to communicate his feelings without violence -- unfortunately he needs to pay for this and that may end his career and see him do time!

    Posted by: alex in boston | Feb 20, 2009 10:08:03 AM

  11. Under California's enhanced domestic violence law, whether she decides to drop the charges is irrelevant. It's up to the district attorney.

    Posted by: SEAN | Feb 20, 2009 10:11:56 AM

  12. I should add further that no violence of any sort should be acceptable whether it's a slap, grabbing a person aggressively or verbal threats! they are all signs of more serious and potentially dangerous actions to come.

    Posted by: alex in boston | Feb 20, 2009 10:12:24 AM

  13. Shall we talk about the Domestic Violence in the Gay and Lesbian community; this is a VERY silent area which is so rampant. It is a shame that Andy and other gay bloggers have not used this celebrity abuse to highlight a serious problem in the gay/lesbian community. Remember abuse does not have to be physical.

    Domestic violence in the GLBT community is a serious issue. The rates of domestic violence in same-gender relationships is roughly the same as domestic violence against heterosexual women (25%). As in opposite-gendered couples, the problem is likely under reported. Facing a system which is often oppressive and hostile towards queers, those involved in same-gender battering frequently report being afraid of revealing their sexual orientation or the nature of their relationship. Others who do not identify as GLBT may not feel that their relationship fits the definition but may still be in an abusive and dangerous relationship.

    Posted by: You Know Me | Feb 20, 2009 10:18:58 AM

  14. should be easy to identify the photo - there's a tattoo on the left shoulder -

    Posted by: wd | Feb 20, 2009 10:19:51 AM

  15. He deserves nothing less than jail. As do all the other assholes – gay and straight – who beat their significant others.

    Posted by: Mitch | Feb 20, 2009 11:19:10 AM

  16. The real story of this post is about the photo leak and having been a victim of domestic violence personally, I can tell you, I would be horrified to find that my emergency room photos had been leaked to the public - but at the same time, perhaps relieved? It takes a very long time to describe the bizarre, mixed emotions that follow something like this, but every moment you are separated from your attacker, and every time you hear supportive words from not just people close to you but complete strangers, it makes the healing process work that much faster.

    HOWEVER, the photo leak by whatever individual at the LAPD is deplorable. The sense of shame I felt from not only the bruises and scars, but the blatantly apparent visual ones that I carried is what comes long before anger and the last thing any abuse victim wants is to be seen by the public as a punching bag, weak, or just incapable of making sound decisions. I do hope the LAPD finds the person within their own ranks that felt that being a celebrity makes ones personal pain any less valid and that person should definitely lose his or her job.

    Additionally, while I can definitively say my own photos, even 3 days after being released from the hospital make Rihanna's look like a catfight, her physical pain alone is relevant to her own situation and to exploit that, even to republish the photo, Andy, is just as deplorable as the original culprit's lack of respect for Rihanna's privacy. Please don't lower yourself to the level of TMZ. And then of course, I wonder, would my own photos have just as much buzz with the public? I doubt it.

    To Chris: Surprisingly, as a gay man in Texas, I found that the legal system took great issue with my case and my attacker will not be getting away with anything. The state has filed all charges. Even an immediate ex-parte was filed while I was in the ER. I can certainly say that I am probably a very lucky person in that regard, but perhaps not all juridictions can be painted so clearly black and white?

    Posted by: Anonymously Yours | Feb 20, 2009 12:15:39 PM

  17. It's wrong of you to run this image. The fact that the rest of the planet has already done so changes nothing.

    "Have you no decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

    Posted by: Bryan | Feb 20, 2009 1:02:51 PM

  18. that's it? termination? then, great way to make an extra buck.

    Posted by: David T | Feb 20, 2009 1:44:41 PM

  19. The worst part is that practically no celebrities will say anything bad about them

    I went to a screening of American Pyscho many years ago. As were leaving I said, "That truly sucked!". My friend turned and shushed me. He then said, "Derek, a lot of very important people were attached to that movie."

    Yeah, but it sucked.

    Same thing here. No one (esp. my people) wants to go on record condemning Brown in public because "some very important people" are attached to him.

    Celebs should Man Up and condemn this since they get so much press these days. It might help somehow.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Feb 20, 2009 1:54:19 PM

  20. "Just look at Tina Turner she survived it and WOW her concerts are AWESOME, maybe Rihanna is laying the groundwork for this in the future." WHAT??? Is this "groundwork" so her concerts will be better. I know - music is better when people suffer. Why would this even cross someone's mind and then jot it down in a blog?

    Posted by: Mike | Feb 20, 2009 2:07:40 PM

  21. i think this photo should be removed.

    brandy said it better than me:

    it is worth mentioning, as someone else did, that DV happens in LGBT relationships as much as straight ones. check out the gay men's domestic violence project ...

    Posted by: not ok | Feb 20, 2009 4:59:21 PM

  22. I'm completely offended and surprised that you chose to post the photo. Merely reporting on the photo's existence would be enough, you did not have to add to the violation of her privacy and the fear of other DV survivors by continuing to publicize this image. I thought you were better than that, Towleroad.


    Posted by: Sarah | Feb 20, 2009 5:04:07 PM

  23. Posting this photo was irresponsible. I work at a sexual violence advocacy and support agency (on our LGBT support project) and it's incredibly disempowering to survivors to have their information leaked. Yes, she's a public figure, and there's a chance that this will create positive dialogue about DV, but honestly, it's shameful to perpetuate this violation of privacy. There's a thousand reason why sensitive information in DV cases is kept secret, and every violation of those boundaries, regardless of whether they involve a celebrity or not, damages the integrity of those policies. Bad journalism.

    Posted by: AG | Feb 20, 2009 5:18:55 PM

  24. My sister is currently in an (emotionally, psychologically, and sometimes physically) abusive relationship with her husband. He has hit her on the back of her head and has choked her in the past. She left him for about a week, but because they have 2 very young kids, she is still trying to make things work with him. After she went back home to him, they got into another fight and he said, "If it weren't for the kids, I would kill you!" When she called the police, they told her that they can't do anything without any proof. It's just her word against his. And he seems too smart to leave any visible bruises on her. She couldn't even file a report for the "alleged" threat to her life that he made. Personally, I think he has some major psychological issues (chemical imbalance, bi-polar?) but refuses to seek therapy.
    So, she is currently still trying to make a life with him work!
    It's just sad and upsetting...

    Posted by: John | Feb 20, 2009 6:12:22 PM

  25. It is sad and upsetting, but you have to be there for them throughout...because it's often the difference between life and death (3 women are murdered every single day in the u.s. as a result of DV). Continue to offer them support by giving them the number to the local DV agency, and listening to them. On average, a victim of domestic violence returns to her abuser seven times before finally leaving. This is often because of the manipulation and threats that are a constant theme in those relationships (e.g., if you leave me, I'll kill myself; if you leave me, I'll kill the kids or just take them and you'll never see them again; if you leave me, I'll kill the dog; where will you go? You don't have any money or a job or anyone else--*financial abuse* and isolation). Physical violence is usually the last stage of violence when the other tactics of abuse fail to achieve the abuser's objective: power and control over the victim.

    This brown guy is a total perp. he's going to do this to women for the rest of his useless life.

    And the pictures are often more vivid, and serve to combat people's notions that this isn't serious or none of their business.

    Posted by: TANK | Feb 20, 2009 6:30:21 PM

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