A controversial episode of Law & Order: SVU based loosely on Rihanna and Chris Brown's turbulent relationship did not break any laws, legal experts have claimed.
The poorly written episode, which aired earlier this week, revolved around an emerging singer and her famous but violent boyfriend.
The episode, Funny Valentine, drew inspiration from the domestic violence incident between the superstar couple reported in 2009. They have recently reunited.
In the drama, Caleb Bryant, played by Eugene Jones, regularly beats his girlfriend Misha Charles (Tiffany Robinson) but she refuses to cooperate with prosecutors to build a case.
The programme also mirrored reality by featuring a serious assault, a leaked police photo, a controversial tattoo and a questionable reconciliation.
Unlike the real deal, the episode ends with Bryant killing Charles.
While the show may have made for awkward viewing, legal experts have insisted that Brown and RiRi do not have a case for defamation.
"There is a different standard for public figures vs individuals," Maryland publishing attorney Daniel Steven told IBTimes US.
"The public figures have less rights," he continued because of an extension of First Amendment freedoms allowing journalists to publicly criticise high-profile individuals.
In order for the duo to successfully claim defamation they would have to prove that the NBC writers acted in reckless disregard for the truth and had malicious intentions.
"It is very tough to demonstrate actual malice," Steven said.
New York attorney Andrew Berger said that because the TV crime franchise was known for taking inspiration from headline stories for its episodes, it was protected from liability.
The intellectual property and trademark law specialist said: "If you throw in some fictional elements into a story [you are protected].
"Just because they have taken a kernel or two of someone else's story I wouldn't be too confident that that will be a problem for the network."
One angry fan said: "This just goes to show what people will do for ratings. You judgmental p***ks. #chrianna 24/7."
Another wrote: "The acting and script was awful. I cringed throughout the movie and think it was in poor taste. If you're going to do something like this, make sure it was superbly done."
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