R&B stars Rihanna and Chris Brown are facing legal action from a photographer who is asking for compensation after he was allegedly beaten and robbed for taking a picture of the rumoured couple.

Luis Santana filed a £666,000 lawsuit in Florida on Tuesday (02Dec08) claiming bodyguards working for the singers knocked him to the ground and stole his £2,000 camera outside the nightclub where Brown celebrated his 19th birthday in May.

Santana claims to have been working outside the Vintage Ultra Lounge in St Petersburg on 6 May when he snapped a picture of the pair through their limousine window. He says the stars’ employees then assaulted him and took his equipment.

Santana’s attorney, Paul Kimsey, claims the photograph which was lost, which allegedly contained proof that Rihanna and Brown are in fact a couple, would have sold for a fortune. The 26-year-old is demanding compensation for the shot and the stolen camera, as well as his own personal injuries and distress, according to The St Petersburg Times.

Rihanna’s publicist, Jonathan Hay, has called the lawsuit a “really unfortunate event”.

He adds, “I do believe that this matter is completely blown out of proportion and I strongly believe that we need to focus on the positive things in the world – not the negative things… Sadly, we are living in a full-blown recession during this holiday season of giving – so let us try to give attention to the positive things in the world and focus on God and our families.”