Justin Bieber’s friend Lil Za, and reportedly, former friend Lil Twist have been named in a lawsuit deposition given by a Miami paparazzo, who is currently suing the Canadian singer and one of his bodyguards for negligence and battery.
Paparazzo Jeffrey Binion has accused Lil Za (real name, Xavier Smith) of threatening him during an allegedly violent confrontation that included the rapper Lil Twist and two of Bieber’s bodyguards, according to TMZ who obtained a copy of the photog’s deposition.
Binion claims he was attacked by Miami’s Hit Factory recording studio after he was spotted taking pictures of the 19-year-old superstar outside the complex.
In his deposition statement, Binion alleges Lil Za demanded he hand over his camera. The photog says Za threatened to break it when he refused, then attempted to grab it out of Binion’s hands in a struggle that allegedly lasted between 3-5 minutes.
The paparazzo claims Lil Twist verbally encouraged Lil Za but didn’t join in the alleged clash, TMZ added.
Binion alleges Bieber’s bodyguards stepped in at that point.
The photographer also claims a firearm was present during the run-in.
The photographer has accused one bodyguard, Hugo Hesny, of restraining him in a “choke hold,” and claims he was forced to delete the images from his camera.
According to GossipExtra, Hesny’s response toe Binion’s filing reads, “Hesny affirmatively alleges that he was acting in self-defense and used reasonable force.”
Binion alleges Bieber ordered the attack and acted negligently.
Bieber has been ordered to give his video deposition at the Santa Monica, California law offices of Kinsella Weitzman at 10 am on January 23.
The singer’s legal team have filed a court request to seal the evidence from public view.
The lawyers reportedly said, “It is highly likely that the entire deposition will be published to the public.”
It’s claimed their concern is Binion’s lawyer — Russell Adler, who has just been suspended by the bar association for three months — will attempt to widen the questioning beyond the scope of the lawsuit that is relevant.
Bieber’s lawyers have reportedly asked that no copies are made of the teen singer’s original video deposition, and have requested a videographer of their choice.
Previously, it was reported Lil Twist and Lil Za had been turfed out from Bieber’s Calabasas, Calif., home following an alleged jewelry theft.
Twist subsequently attacked Bieber’s longtime manager, Scooter Braun, on Twitter accusing him of planting “fake stories” about him in the media to shift bad press from the “Baby” star.
Lil Twist has been involved in traffic violations and accidents while driving Justin’s vehicles and it is said this is part of the reason why Braun considers him a bad influence.
The Young Money rapper was also named in a battery report filed by a woman after a party Twist reportedly hosted at Bieber’s home while he was away performing.
Lil Za was photographed accompanying Bieber to his radio interview with Power 106 in Los Angeles on Tuesday.