Los Angeles police have launched an internal investigation to determine who leaked a picture that appears to show a bruised and battered Rihanna.
The close-up photo -- showing a woman with contusions on her forehead and below her eyes, and cuts on her lip -- was published on the entertainment Web site TMZ Thursday. TMZ said it was a photo of Rihanna.
Twenty-one-year-old Rihanna was allegedly attacked by her boyfriend, singer Chris Brown, on a Los Angeles street before the two were to perform at the Grammys on February 8.
"The unauthorized release of a domestic violence photograph immediately generated an internal investigation," an L.A. police spokesman said in a statement. "The Los Angeles Police Department takes seriously its duty to maintain the confidentiality of victims of domestic violence. A violation of this type is considered serious misconduct, with penalties up to and including termination."
A spokeswoman for Rihanna declined to comment.