Chris Brown’s new tattoo is not a depiction of a battered woman’s face but a skull meant to commemorate the Mexican Day of the Dead, a spokesperson for the singer says.

Brown’s neck tattoo, seen in photos taken on the red carpet in Las Vegas, stirred up controversy online Tuesday as bloggers and Twitter users speculated it was an image of Rihanna, Brown’s ex-girlfriend.

But in a statement to celebrity gossip website TMZ.com, a representative for Brown insisted the tattoo is a Mexican-themed “sugar skull” -- a split image of a woman’s face and a skull. The rep said Brown spotted the design in a MAC cosmetics ad and brought it to a tattoo artist to replicate on his neck.

“It is not Rihanna or an abused woman as erroneously reported,” the spokesperson said, according to TMZ.

Brown pleaded guilty three years ago to felony assault for beating Rihanna on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

The facial features of the woman tattooed on his neck appeared to be similar to Rihanna’s, and somewhat resembled the police photograph that circulated online following the incident, showing her injuries.

Media reports about the case, citing a police warrant, indicated the two were driving in Los Angeles in a Lamborghini when Rihanna began reading text messages from another woman on Brown’s phone.

Brown grew angry, and reports say he attempted to push her out of the car. As he continued to drive, he hit Rihanna repeatedly and smashed her head against the car’s passenger side window.

He also allegedly threatened her with more violence when she faked making a phone call to police.

Brown was sentenced to probation and community service, and was ordered to pay fines and take a domestic violence court. Brown was also forced to stay at least 50 yards away from Rihanna, an order that has since been lifted.

In recent months, the two have appeared to rekindle at least a friendship. They released a single together, promoting it by flirting and teasing back-and-forth on Twitter, and have been spotted at the same nightclubs.

The two also apparently shared a kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards last week.

In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Rihanna admitted that she still loves Brown.

While she gave her relationship status as single, she said she is “not at peace if he is unhappy or he is still lonely. I care.”

She also said she also feels that “he made that mistake because he needed help.”

-- With files from Andrea Janus