Justin Bieber has hit Miami, South Florida, ahead of a scheduled Thursday deposition which will be videotaped in connection with a civil lawsuit in which a paparazzo is suing the singer and one of his bodyguards for battery and negligence, otherwise known as assault.
20th birthday celebrations over, Bieber jetted out of the Bahamas Wednesday. The singer rented a number of villas during his five-day stay at a 5-star Caribbean resort The Cove on the island of Eleuthera with family and friends, including his parents and step-siblings.
Photographer Jeffrey Binion, 56, filed the lawsuit against Bieber and a bodyguard last year.
Bieber has been ordered to attend the 10 am deposition in downtown Miami, according to court records as per Gossip Extra.
Bieber will be probed for what could be eight hours at the Universal Court Reporting’s offices across from the Miami-Dade Courthouse.
In his complaint [seen here], Binion claims he was assaulted by Bieber’s bodyguards on the singer’s orders outside Miami’s Hit Factory Recording Studio after he was spotted snapping photos of the star on June 5, 2013.
As a result of Bieber’s alleged order, Binion claims he was thrown against a wall and held in a choke-hold by one guard, Hugo Hesny, while he and other guards allegedly forcibly took the paparazzo’s camera and memory card to remove photos.
Hesny is reportedly not licensed by the State of Florida to work as a bodyguard and also does not hold a concealed weapons carrying permit as is required by Florida law. Binion claims Hesny used a gun to threaten him while trying to remove the photog’s memory card
Binion has accused Bieber of battery and negligence in the management of his bodyguards during the alleged attack.
At the time he filed a police report.
Bieber was originally ordered to a deposition on January 23 at a Santa Monica, California, attorney’s office, for a grilling by lawyer Mark DiCowden – believed to be acting on behalf of attorney Russell S. Adler. The order was made by a Miami-Dade County Circuit judge.
However, the “Boyfriend” singer’s predawn arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence in a Lamborghini with friend and co-arrestee Khalil Sharieff during what Miami Beach police described as a drag race that morning meant Bieber missed his date with DiCowden.
At the time, Gossip Extra reported DiCowden flew to Los Angeles and spent a total of three days waiting for Bieber and later told the site he planned to file for travel expenses and 30 work hours.
The outlet reports Thursday’s (March 6) videotaped deposition had been scheduled to take place at DiCowden’s office, but both parties agreed his conference room was too small and moved the proceedings to a larger office.
It’s reported Bieber’s Miami legal team — led by the high-profile attorney Roy Black — want the deposition moved to Black’s law offices on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami.
Citing a source, Gossip Extra said Black’s team – who are also defending the Canadian in his DUI case – believe they can better ensure Bieber’s safety.
Back in February, Bieber’s lawyers lost key appeals in the Binion case against two orders by Miami-Dade Judge Sarah Zabel.
One was against the deposition being videotaped. The second was to prevent the allowance of alleged past incidents involving Bieber, his guards and photographers into the deposition.
Court papers filed February 11 in the Third District Court of Appeal for Miami stated both appeals were denied.
TMZ later reported five allegedly confrontations between Bieber’s bodyguards and paparazzi will now be covered in the deposition, with Bieber grilled on each. The five alleged incidents are listed here.
At the time a source close to the case told People magazine,
“Miami Judge Sarah Zabel initially denied Bieber’s requests to stop Binion’s lawyers from deposing him and asking questions about other incidents involving him and his varied bodyguards’ aggressive behavior,”
“Although Bieber’s lawyers appealed the judge’s rulings, the appeal was denied. Bieber can no longer hide. Binion’s lawyers are waiting for a deposition date to be set in Miami.”
Before Justin and his legal team show up to the deposition today, the young singer took time out for an impromptu meet and greet with fans who spotted him in Miami.
For a photo selection of those encounters and a somewhat hysterical video sourced from a fan’s Instagram account hit the jump.
(Photo: Bieber meeting fan “Nicolette Mahone” in Miami, South Florida, March 5).
(Photo: Bieber meets another delighted fan in Miami on March 5).
(Photo: Bieber makes a young girl’s night in Miami, March 5.)
(Photo: The singer gets friendly with another fan In Miami).
(Photo: The 20-year-old charms another female admirer in Miami.)
(Photo: Bieber hangs out with male fan in Miami, March 5).
[Fan photos via Twitter, Instagram].