Rihanna has upped the ante with a $25,000 gift in conjunction with a phone-busting selfie that launched an EBay auction for charity.
Last Friday, the "Diamonds" singer took a courtside selfie with L.A. Police Commission President Steve Soboroff at a Clippers-Thunder NBA semifinals game. The commissioner happened to be seated by the singer and hoped the selfie, which prominently shows off their LAPD wristbands, would boost morale in the department in the wake of a series of officer deaths in the past year, L.A. Now reported.
However, in the picture-taking process, the Grammy-winning singer dropped his iPhone and the screen shattered, much to her dismay. As consolation, RiRi signed the hardware and wrote "sorry, I <3 LAPD". Soboroff then posted a picture of the result on Twitter.
The commission president used the faux pas as an opportunity to raise funds for the LAPD Foundation by auctioning off the phone to benefit cadets and families of the fallen officers.
"Sorry I broke your phone @SteveSoboroff :)" Rihanna later tweeted. She also dropped a hefty donation into the fund.
"#noworries & thanks so much for your $25,000 contribution to @LAPoliceFdtn u can drop my new #iphone at next @LAClippers game:)" he replied.
At publication time, the top bid on the still-functional iPhone was at $56,000 in the three-day EBay auction, which closes Thursday.
"The phone still works, but the screen is cracked because Rihanna dropped it!" the seller note says. "It has been reset and wiped clean. It will come in an iPhone 5 box along with LAPD wristbands like the ones we are wearing in the photo, and the charger cable."
For donors who might consider the auction price too steep, Soboroff suggested donating a mere $5 to receive a blue LAPD wristband (as seen in the selfie) instead.
It's an interesting turn of events in the organization's relationship with the singer, who was involved in the prolonged assault case of former boyfriend Chris Brown. Brown was arrested by LAPD in 2009 and later convicted of felony assault on his then-girlfriend.
Notorious photos of the brutally battered songstress were leaked by a member of the department, which launched an internal investigation. Officer Rebecca Reyes was sacked as a result. The former officer appealed the decision, but it was upheld in March.