BY CRAIG NEWMAN
For nearly two weeks, news of a severe beating
suffered by singer Rihanna, allegedly at the hands of boyfriend, R&B singer
Chris Brown, and rumors of the incident's severity have percolated in the
On Thursday night, a photo posted by gossip Web site TMZ.com put a face and photographic proof to the brutality suffered. The closeup image portrays a woman whose face is puffy with deep bruising, black eyes and apparent blood at the corner of her mouth.
The picture matches accounts from the Feb. 8 -- the
day of the Grammy awards, where Rihanna and Brown were scheduled to perform, but
cancelled at the last minute.
Brown, 19, was arrested on suspicion of making
Twenty-one-year-old Rihanna has yet to be officially
identified as Brown's alleged victim. Reports from that night tell only of an
unidentified woman "visibly injured" when police responded to a 911 call in the
Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Brown issued an apology and said he would seek
counseling, stating he was "sorry and saddened ... over what transpired," Brown
did not declare any remorse or give any details about the couple's Feb. 8
But the Sun-Times' Bill Zwecker has reported that Rihanna's family in her native Barbados, where the singer is recovering, is not having accepting of the statement.
The singer told a longtime friend she was
''appalled'' by the comments Brown made in that statement.
''All of us, including Rihanna, don't understand how he can say he's sorry on the one hand, but still ... does not admit any guilt,'' said the source, adding, "He should have expressed more contrition."
The Los Angeles District Attorney is expected to review the case before Brown's March 5 court date and make a decision on formal charges.