Will Law & Order do justice to Rihanna and Brown?

The ongoing saga of Rihanna and Chris Brown has inspired the plot of a new Law & Order: SVU episode, to screen in the US next week.

Billed by NBC as "a familiar story of two celebrities", the episode sees a pop starlet badly beaten by her hip hop star boyfriend. The authorities attempt to intervene, but the singer stands firmly by her man and refuses to help with the investigation, which quickly explodes into a media circus.

The situation is complicated further in the show when the boyfriend is found dead.

The episode, Funny Valentine, comes just two weeks after Rihanna and Brown attended the Grammys together in LA and were photographed canoodling in the front row, four days ahead of Valentine's Day.

In the January issue of US Rolling Stone magazine, singer Rihanna confirmed that she had rekindled her relationship with hip hop artist Brown, nearly four years after he assaulted her at a pre-Grammys party in 2009.

A leaked image from the Los Angeles Police Department of the singer's bruised and swollen face drew widespread condemnation of Brown at the time. He pleaded guilty to the assault and was put on a five-year probation.

Funny Valentine will be the second controversial celebrity-themed episode of SVU to air in a month. Two weeks ago, convicted rapist Mike Tyson appeared in the show as a rape victim on death row. In 1992, the former boxing champion was sentenced to six years' jail for the rape of an 18-year-old.

The decision to cast Tyson appeared to backfire, with just 5.2 million in the US tuning in to the episode. It was SVU's smallest audience on record for an original, regularly scheduled episode.

Funny Valentine will air in the US on February 27 at 9pm, and guest-stars Perez Hilton and musician Dave Navarro.

The story Will Law & Order do justice to Rihanna and Brown? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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