TMZ Defending Post of ‘Battered’ Rihanna Photo ?

Entertainment website TMZ is defending its decision to post Rihanna’s post altercation photo saying the LAPD validated the authenticity of the photo. “We, obviously, believed at the time, convincingly, that it was Rihanna and put it up on the site,” TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin told Fox News. “I’m not saying anything bad at all about the LAPD. I mean, what they needed to do, they felt, was conduct an internal affair investigation… in doing so they did authenticate the picture.” While Levin admits they decided to post the photo on the site Thursday, a decision that has sparked heated debate and outrage, he did not admit to purchasing the photo. Over the weekend, a source affiliated with TMZ reportedly told themediabuffet.com that the photo had been purchased. That same source said TMZ paid $62,500 for the photo. As previously reported, LAPD officials say they’re taking the leak of the photo “serious”. In related news, Page Six says Rihanna was due to perform at Sunday’s Oscars but canceled. The Rihanna-less 81st Annual Academy Awards featured performances from Beyonce, Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman among others. “Slumdog Millionaire” was the big winner.

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