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Will Rihanna Testify Against Chris Brown?

Harvey Levin, creator and executive producer of TMZ, is also an attorney who knows about celebrity justice.

Levin sat down with Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen to discuss the latest news regarding R&B Singer Chris Brown and Rihanna.

Brown has been charged with two felonies in connection with his Grammy-eve beating of girlfriend singer Rihanna. He was in court today where his arraignment was postponed until next month.


Photos: Rihanna
"What if Rihanna doesn't show up and testify in this case?" asked Chen.

"Well, it's not going to really impact the case, I don't think. The D.A. is used to cases where the woman either recants or goes back with the alleged abuser - 50 percent of the cases," Levin said.


Photos: Chris Brown
"So even if she does, let's say she says, you know what? I know I provided all of that information in the affidavit, but I was mad. I made it up. That won't matter?" Chen asked.

"It matters, but there are two things that are not in that affidavit that are huge in this case. One is, we know, she told police that it was not the first time that there was escalating violence in this relationship, and it was getting worse and worse and worse," Levin said.

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According to Levin, that statement could be devastating to Brown.

"The second thing is there's a picture that we have of Rihanna shortly after the attack. There was another picture that nobody's seen. And it was taken a day after the incident. I have not seen it, but I know people who have. It has been described to me as absolutely horrific. It doesn't even resemble the picture we have because of the swelling and the bruising settled in," he said.

Since the photograph is so "monstrous," from a lawyer's point of view, Levin says that Brown's attorney, Mark Geragos, may want to get a plea. Levin also says that if that picture ever gets out in trial, he is told that Brown's career is over.

"No matter what happens. It's that bad," Levin said.

"And what is the likelihood that that picture would get out?" Chen asked.
"It's police evidence, right?"

"Well, if there's a trial, I think... it's going to be evidence in court. I mean, it's huge evidence. And they are concerned about it. I mean, that is a huge concern. This picture is -- it's unbelievable," he said.

"This 'unbelievable' picture that you're talking about, do we know who took the photo and exactly when it was taken?" Chen asked.

"It was taken the day after the incident. I believe it was taken by authorities, but it was taken when the swelling had settled in. Again, does not resemble what you see in the picture we have," Levin pointed out.

"Do we know how many days it was after the alleged beating?" Chen asked.

"We don't. When we got the picture, we honestly believed this was not a police picture and now it may be. And if it was, it was probably taken shortly thereafter, but definitely before everything settled in," he said.

According to Levin, TMZ knows that Rihanna told police that the violence has escalated and that it was recurring and getting worse and worse.

"What if she comes out and says 'I lied to police about that, too?'" Chen asked.

"Well, you can say that, and then you have photographs. And then you look at Chris Brown. Chris Brown could mount the defense that she was out of control in the car, and I've heard rumblings of this, that he's going to say she was attacking him. But he was not the worse for wear. And it's just -- look at what happened to her. I mean, that picture is so incredibly powerful, times 10 based on the other one that it's going to be hard for Rihanna to say, it didn't happen because it's kind of like 'Who do you believe? Me or your lying eyes?'" Levin said.

Whether Brown will spend time behind bars remains to be seen.

"I don't know. These are odd cases. And he doesn't have a record. He's young. He lived in a family that had domestic violence. So I don't know. My guess is Mark Geragos is going to want to try to plead out this case. And if he pleads it out, my guess is the D.A. is going to ask for some time. They're not just going to plead it out and give him probation. His only hope for not going to jail or prison is if he actually goes to trial and tries to beat the rap," Levin said.

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