by Free Britney at

The Los Angeles Police Department is still investigating the leak into who provided celebrity gossip site TMZ with a chilling photo of a battered Rihanna that was taken shortly after she was allegedly assaulted by Chris Brown on February 8.

"They said they were looking into it vigorously," LAPD spokesman Lt. John Romero said, referring to a statement made by a superior officer. "We are not talking about the protocols because it will relate to this investigation."

A law-enforcement source tells E! News that the police believe they have identified the computer they believe to be the one from which the photo originated.

They have not figured out who transferred the image.

For its part, TMZ has said the photo was obtained legally. The site also says it believed it was not an LAPD photo, and are still not convinced that it is.

Chris Brown Ogles Rihanna

Per protocol, the LAPD has not formally identified Rihanna as the victim of what transpired between her and Brown on the morning of the Grammy Awards.

In announcing the investigation into the leak, authorities would only say that the photo was taken "during an official domestic violence investigation."

Meanwhile, the investigation into Chris Brown continues as well.

Police sources say prosecutors are looking for evidence to build the toughest possible felony case against the R&B star, who was booked on suspicion of making criminal threats but may ultimately face a variety of felony charges.

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by Free Britney at

What happened to Rihanna is NOT a laughing matter.

There is NO excuse for domestic violence (not even the catch-all "he's human," sorry T.I.) and this ranks as one of the saddest stories we've covered in nearly three years immersed in the celeb gossip industry - one we wish we never had to.

Out of the Darkness

Yes, Chris Brown is entitled to due process and blah, blah, blah ... but if he is indeed responsible for the beating depicted in that infamous Rihanna photo, well, the fool deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

That said, if we can't enjoy a little humor in our lives, what's the point? And isn't it time Rihanna kicked this loser to the curb - with musical flair?

So we ask, in somewhat poor taste: if Rihanna were to dedicate a remix to her "allegedly" abusive boyfriend, which would it be?

 

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by Free Britney at

Harvey Levin, the executive producer of TMZ, one of the web's biggest celeb news and gossip sites, went on Fox News' On the Record show on Friday night.

The purpose of his visit? To address the escalating controversy surrounding the battered Rihanna photo, which the LAPD has insinuated was leaked illegally.

"Now, I should be quick to say that we got this picture legally," a Fox News transcript of the show quotes the celebrity gossip publisher as saying.

"And we - when we got the picture, we believed it was not an LAPD picture, and we still are still not convinced it is. The police department is sounding like they say it is, but they haven't said that unequivocally, either."

The Los Angeles Police Department has not officially identified Rihanna as the alleged victim in the Chris Brown case, in which the entertainer was arrested and charged with battery and suspicion of criminal threats February 8.

Chris Brown, Rihanna Photo

The LAPD launched an internal investigation after 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."

Levin said TMZ has heard a lot of rumors surrounding what Rihanna will do next in regards to Brown, but most of what they have heard is unsubstantiated.

"There are a lot of rumors going around about this case, and I don't really put a lot of credence in any of them, which is why we haven't put any of that stuff up on the site, because I don't think it's concrete enough," he said.

"But I think the fact is, with those pictures, I've got to tell you, I mean, I don't think the DA is going to be completely stymied if she doesn't cooperate."

We have not posted the photo in question on our homepage as it is so graphic. Follow the jump to see how badly Rihanna was hurt:

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by Free Britney at

In her first statement since she was allegedly attacked by beau Chris Brown, Rihanna thanked fans for their support but is declining to address the felonious accusations against her boyfriend, citing an ongoing police investigation.

"At the request of the authorities, Rihanna is not commenting about the incident involving Chris Brown," read a statement released by Rubenstein Associates.

"She wants to assure fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time."

The statement comes after TMZ released a chilling Rihanna photo that shows her battered face with bruises on her forehead, bloody lips and other marks.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the leak which LAPD Chief William Bratton said is "an embarrassment to this department" and possibly a criminal conspiracy offense that could result in up to three years in prison.

Classic Rihanna, Chris Brown

Chris Brown remains under investigation for the attack on Rihanna before the Grammy awards in L.A. on February 8. An apparent "booty call text message" triggered an argument that ultimately left her badly hurt and unconscious.

Both stars were due to perform at the awards show, but subsequently dropped out; Brown surrendered to the authorities as the ceremony was under way.

Since the alleged attack, both stars have kept a low profile, but Brown did issue a brief statement of remorse last weekend. His apology stated, in part, "Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired."

The statement did not mention Rihanna by name.

Friday was Rihanna's 21st birthday. The platinum-selling star canceled a big b-day bash in New York and postponed concerts overseas following the incident.

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by Free Britney at

A photo of Rihanna showing bad facial bruises allegedly sustained in an assault by Chris Brown has been posted by celeb gossip site TMZ. It is rather disturbing.

The Los Angeles police department has launched an internal investigation over what it is calling an unauthorized release of the photo of Rihanna, clearly showing injuries she sustained from an alleged assault by Chris Brown two Sundays ago.

A Nice Rihanna Pic

"The photo has the appearance of one taken during an official investigation," says a police statement. "The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence."

The LAPD said that Thursday evening it "began receiving numerous inquiries about the release of a photograph associated with a domestic violence incident that occurred on February 8, 2009, involving the entertainer Chris Brown."

There have been some bogus Rihanna pictures going around, but this one appears to be the real thing - a haunting close-up of the woman with her eyes closed and severe bruises and cuts covering her forehead, lips and cheeks.

We have elected not to post it on our homepage due to the upsetting nature of the photo, but you may follow the jump if you wish to view it:

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by Free Britney at

As bad as the last week has been, Chris Brown hasn't seen the half of it.

The R&B star is being investigated for a variety of felonies, including domestic violence, assault resulting in great bodily injury and - based on specific allegations made by Rihanna - even attempted murder, an E! Online source says.

But as they build their case, the source says, prosecutors fear that making any serious felony charges against him stick could prove difficult in a case in which there are no direct witnesses other than Chris Brown and Rihanna herself.

He's accused of beating his longtime girlfriend in the early morning of February 8, causing them both to cancel scheduled Grammy performances that night.

Rihanna told cops that, as the two fought in his rented Lamborghini, Brown said to his girlfriend, "I'm going to kill you," in addition to choking and beating her.

The Barbados-born songstress, who is reportedly cooperating with the investigation, also told authorities that Brown choked her until she lost consciousness.

Brown was booked by police on suspicion of making criminal threats, but the D.A. wanted further investigation into the attack before formally pressing charges.

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by Free Britney at

In the aftermath of the alleged beating at the hands of Chris Brown that left her badly injured, Rihanna's family is reeling, having never seen it coming.

Several family members have spoken out from her native country of Barbados, where the singer traveled after the violet incident two Sundays ago.

Brown "flew so far under everyone's radar that we just didn't think he was that [abusive] type," a relative tells People magazine in its new cover story.

Chris was arrested February 8 for allegedly assaulting Rihanna in Los Angeles.

He was booked on suspicion of criminal threats, having (according to her) told Rihanna he would kill her in addition to leaving her bruised and unconscious.

He has not been seen since, but issued an apology through a spokesman, saying he sought therapy. Rihanna was said to be unmoved by the vague statement.

What Have I Done?!

Nobody in Rihanna's family - or the celebrity gossip world - saw a brutal assault at the hands of her boyfriend Chris Brown coming. [Photos: Splash News Online]

Brown will likely face charges from the L.A. District Attorney. The question is what kind - criminal threats carry a longer sentence, but are more difficult to prove, so some believe a felony assault / battery charge is much more likely.

The turn of events comes as a shock to Rihanna's family. "[Chris] was always looking after her needs," says another relative, "making sure she was happy."

Rihanna, who turns 21 on Friday, and Brown, 19, were a "perfect match," an MTV veejay who knows both music stars said. Now their future together is unknown.

But as far as her father, Ronald Fenty, is concerned, his daughter should "move on." A relative agrees: "I don't want her to go back to him. I don't think anyone does."

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by Free Britney at

Rihanna is listless, suffering from headaches and torn"over her parents' pleas to cooperate with police after she was allegedly brutally assaulted by Chris Brown.

"She hums sometimes, but she's more quiet than I've ever seen her," an unnamed pal of the "Umbrella" singer reportedly told a celebrity gossip source.

The friend said Rihanna, 20, visited a doctor last Friday, five days after Brown allegedly roughed her up following a fight in the couple's rented Lamborghini.

"It was because of the endless headaches she's been having since Chris hit her," the friend said. "The doctors were concerned about the contusions on her head."

Reports say that Rihanna - who was said to be furious and unmoved by Brown's apology statement last weekend - is still torn over helping police build a case.

  • RiRi
  • Chris Brown Creepin'

Rihanna's level of cooperation with cops may be critical to what charges, if any, are pressed against Chris Brown. Will she help the police? [Photos: Splash News]

Brown, 19, was arrested the night of the Grammy Awards on suspicion of making criminal threats - he is accused of beating and threatening to kill Rihanna.

Chris Brown is free on $50,000 bail and has not been seen since.

"I mean, damn, her eye's black and the sides of her face are all f----d up," the friend told said. "But she keeps saying she still loves him."

Rihanna's parents are reportedly pleading with her not to worry about how jail time may affect Brown's career, and the Barbados-bred beauty is believed to be cooperating with police, at least for now and to a certain extent.

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by Free Britney at

For the record, Rihanna's camp has declined to officially comment on Chris Brown's first public comments since his felony arrest two Sundays ago.

Sources close to her, however, have described the battered singer as being "appalled" by her boyfriend's statement, issued through a spokesman.

Dining Out, Solo

"All of us, including Rihanna, do not understand how he can say he's sorry on the one hand, but still... does not admit any guilt," a Barbados pal of Rihanna tells the Chicago Sun-Times. "He should have expressed more contrition."

After a week of negative press for Chris Brown subsequent to the alleged assault that took place involving Rihanna, Brown released a statement saying he was "sorry and saddened... over what transpired," but did not go into detail.

It has been theorized that a booty call text message triggered an argument between the couple that spiraled out of control and led to a violent altercation. Rihanna also told police that this was not the first time Brown attacked her.

Rihanna and Chris Brown in happier times.

A source close to Rihanna apparently told the newspaper that she is "royally pissed off" at what she calls Brown's "cavalier and arrogant statement."

Both singers have kept a low profile after the incident, which allegedly left Rihanna with horrific injuries. Chris Brown is due in court March 5.

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by Free Britney at

Earlier today, we told you how Rihanna's father spoke out for the first time since his daughter's alleged beating at the hands of her boyfriend, singer Chris Brown.

Now, the following statement has been issued by a spokesman on behalf of Brown - his first since his arrest on battery and criminal threats charges last Sunday:

Rihanna Ring?

"Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired. I am seeking the counseling of my pastor, my mother and other loved ones and I am committed, with God's help, to emerging a better person."

"Much of what has been speculated or reported on blogs and/or the media is wrong."

Rihanna and Chris Brown at the pre-Grammys party before the incident.

"While I would like to be able to talk about this more, until the legal issues are resolved, this is all I can say except that I have not written any messages or made any posts on Facebook, blogs or any place else," the statement continued.

"Those posts or writings under my name are frauds."

Chris Brown, 19, allegedly attacked girlfriend Rihanna, 20, in Los Angeles on February 8, before both were scheduled to perform at the Grammy Awards.

He posted $50,000 bail and has kept an extremely low profile since the incident.

The L.A. district attorney's office is still investigating what happened and weighing what charges, if any, Brown will face in conjunction with the attack.

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