In her first statement since she was allegedly attacked by Chris Brown, Rihanna thanked fans for their support but declined to address the 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 Public Relations. “She wants to assure her fans that she remains strong, is doing well, and deeply appreciates the outpouring of support she has received during this difficult time.”
The statement was released hours after the Web site TMZ released a photo that purportedly shows the battered face of the pop star, with bruises on her forehead, bloody lips and other marks on her face.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced it was investigating the leak shortly after the photos were posted Thursday evening. On Friday, Chief William Bratton said his department is conducting an internal investigation, but also a criminal conspiracy case that could result in up to three years in prison.
“It as an embarrassment to this department,” Bratton said. He said the agency believes a department employee leaked the photo, and that the department is working to quickly complete separate investigations into Rihanna’s beating and the photo’s leak.
Brown, 19, is under investigation for an attack on a woman in the hours leading up to this month’s Grammy awards in Los Angeles; a person familiar with the situation, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter and requested anonymity, has confirmed that the woman was Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty.
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 statement of remorse last weekend, saying, in part: “Words cannot begin to express how sorry and saddened I am over what transpired.” The statement, which also said that he was seeking counseling from a pastor and family members, did not mention Rihanna.
Friday marks Rihanna’s 21st birthday. The platinum-selling singer canceled a planned birthday bash in New York and postponed concerts overseas in the days following the incident.