No mediation Tuesday in SoFla for Justin Bieber in photographer's lawsuit claiming bodyguard roughed him up. Postponed till March 31.
— Curt Anderson (@Miamicurt) March 16, 2015
Justin Bieber’s lawyers have requested the cancellation of a mediation that is scheduled for Tuesday, March 17, in Florida, in a civil lawsuit brought against the superstar and one of his bodyguards by a photographer.
Paparazzo Jeffrey Binion alleges he was assaulted by bodyguard Hugo Hesny outside a Miami recording studio in June 2013, and claims the singer ordered the guard to rough up the lensman and take his camera and memory card to delete snaps that he allegedly took of the star.
Bieber denies the allegation.
According to the Associated Press, Bieber’s lawyers have asked a court to postpone the March 17 mediation date, and move the three-hour session to either March 27, 30, or 31.
The point of the mediation is to resolve a settlement instead of going to trial. As previously reported, Judge Eric Hendon set a May 11 for the trial in case the two parties cannot come to an agreement.
Bieber’s legal team have reportedly already informed the mediator that the singer will not be at the Tuesday mediation in Fort Lauderdale, and cited media appearances generated by the 21-year-old’s recent Comedy Central roast as the reason for their request to cancel.
Gossip Extra reports the Canadian’s legal team offered March 27, 30, or 31, as alternative dates because Bieber will already be in Florida for “work and family-related commitments.”
It remains to be seen what Judge Hendon’s reaction will be to Bieber’s lawyers’ request.
Back in February, the judge refused a petition from Bieber’s legal team asking if the singer could appear at a mediation via a video link, which cited prohibitive private jet costs.
The motion was thrown out by the judge, and Bieber was court-ordered to appear in Miami before March 20 for the session. In total, mediation dates have been moved three times.
Will the judge view this fourth request as contempt of court?
Since the singer’s team have provided alternative dates for the mediation that are only a week away, probably not.
Binion’s lawyer, Mark DiCowden, who also resides in Florida, claims Bieber’s lawyer and manager Scooter Braun called him “begging” to have the newest mediation date moved.
He reportedly said Braun was “concerned” that Bieber’s media appearances would conflict with the hearing.
Naturally, DiCowden — who is representing the paparazzo Binion and fighting for money — claims Bieber’s team want to delay the case out of fear.
“Bieber’s claims that he cannot appear on March 17 are unfounded, especially in the light of the fact he was present in Miami last weekend to celebrate his birthday,” Mark wrote, in his objection to Bieber’s lawyers’ request to cancel.
Then again, an opposing lawyer would think of the worst of a defendant’s reasons.
The Inquisitr will keep you posted on developments.
[Images via WENN]