"His tattoo is a sugar skull (associated with the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead) and a MAC cosmetics design he saw," Brown's rep told TMZ. "It is not Rihanna or an abused woman as erroneously reported."
Brown showcased the new ink, which appears on the right side of his neck, at a Las Vegas event earlier this month. The image bears a similarity to the bruised image of Rihanna that circulated after she was beaten by Brown in 2009, prompting an online outcry on Tuesday.
Rihanna gave Brown a surprising hug and kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards on Thursday, a moment that appeared on the show's online "VIP Seating Cam" feed but did not air on the television broadcast.