Chris Brown Says His Neck Tattoo Isn’t of an Abused Rihanna

It just looks like a picture of a woman with a battered face. What are you insinuating?

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Jeff R. Bottari / Getty Images

Singer Chris Brown arrives at the Kandy Vegas Labor Day weekend party at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas on September 1, 2012.

Chris Brown got a new neck tattoo. And because it’s Chris Brown, he’s managed to—yet again—stir up controversy, digging himself even deeper into a hole.The tattoo in question is a portrait of a woman with high cheekbones and full lips, half swollen and bruised, and a blackened eye covering the right side of her face. In fact, the tattoo looks a lot like the singer’s ex-girlfriend Rihanna, whom he pleaded guilty of assaulting in 2009.

Brown’s rep is denying that the rapper’s tattoo has anything to do with Rihanna, telling that the ink was actually a “sugar skull (associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead) and a MAC cosmetics design he saw. It is not Rihanna or an abused woman as erroneously reported.”

Peter Koskela

The rep also told ABC that the tattoo is currently peeling, which makes it look different from the design he intended. The image that Brown gave to Koskela is posted above, and it does look like it’s perhaps meant to be the actual design on his neck. However, the thought that the singer, who was sentenced to five years probation for the assault, would ever think it’s a good idea to have an image of a woman’s disfigured face on his body is ludicrous.

Brown hasn’t yet posted any kind of clarification on his Twitter, though he did post a link to a Perez Hilton post that called him out for the design. For a guy who has everyone thinking he’s tattooed his ex-girlfriend’s battered visage onto his neck, he doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to clear things up. Indeed, his reticence has prompted observers like Grantland’Rembert Browne to speculate that the singer knows exactly what he’s doing — that despite the denials, we must “know that the tattoo is, in fact, Rihanna.”

Browne writes:

In a sick, twisted way, I’m really happy this tattoo exists. We, as a culture, need him to do things like get tattoos of physically abused ex-girlfriends on his neck so that we never forget who we’re dealing with.

If Rihanna and Chris do get back together (as rumors prompted by their canoodling at the VMAs are speculating), we can only imagine how disturbing it’s going to be for her to see that image staring back at her every day.

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