It was claimed that the photograph was taken after Rihanna was allegedly attacked by her singer 'beau' Chris Brown following a heated argument. TMZ published a photo of a battered woman alleging her to be Rihanna which prompted L.A police department to launch a probe to find those responsible for the leak.
And now website boss Harvey Levin has insisted upon the significance of covering 'both sides' of the story. "It is a photograph of Rihanna that was taken shortly after the alleged beating a couple of weeks ago," the Daily Express quoted him as telling Fox News.
"We, obviously, believed at the time, convincingly, that it was Rihanna and put it up on the site... I'm not saying anything bad at all about the LAPD. I mean, what they needed to do, they felt, was conduct an internal affairs investigation because they felt there was a leak. In so doing ... they did authenticate the picture," he added.
Levin continued: "Chris Brown is not going to just say, ''I'm going to lie down on this one and not fight''. I guarantee you that Chris Brown is going to mount a defence in this case. I know that. He will mount a defence in this case. So, the picture is not the be-all and the end-all, as far as he's concerned... But what it does do is it puts a face on what both sides really have been kind of leaking out over the last couple of weeks... Well, the bottom line is, here's the photograph, here's the end result. And frankly, I think it's pretty horrifying."