General consensus of Justin Bieber from his four-and-a-half hour deposition in Miami for a civil assault lawsuit filed by a photographer against the singer and one of his bodyguard’s, appears to be yet another damning assessment of Bieber’s character.
But that could be premature. It’s reported the singer’s legal team believes Justin was “set up” with lawyers purposefully asking goading questions, with an alleged plan to “leak” the video using only the worst extracts that took place hours into the deposition.
In what appears to support Page Six’s exclusive report, footage of Bieber apologizing to the court reporter he swore at has only just surfaced and was not posted by TMZ to context the F-bomb clip. Although the singer’s apology occurred later in the hearing, at press time today the gossip site — who posted four short videos from the deposition just two days after it took place — still hasn’t posted the apology.
Bieber is accused by photographer Jeffrey Binion of ordering his security team to confront him when he was seen taking photos of the singer outside a Miami recording studio last June. Binion claims he was thrown against a wall, and held in a choke hold by security while his camera and memory card were taken.
And among the many moments of the videotaped, March 6 court hearing in which Bieber refuses, evades, argues, or fails to understand questions posed by the lawyer representing Binion, it’s Justin’s F-bomb response to a female court reporter that stands out for many as particularly rude.
At one point during the deposition Bieber responded to a playback of a question about Usher being instrumental to his career, answering softly, “Yeah.”
Asked by Binion’s lawyer Mark DiCowden to confirm his reply was “Yes,” Bieber reluctantly said “yeah,” repeating “yes” at just above a whisper.
The court reporter then apologized before asking the singer if he could “please speak up?”
Bieber fired back at her, “‘Yes’ and ‘no’ are f—ing pretty, pretty different.”
His lawyers hastily suggested a break.
While it’s likely Bieber felt overwhelmed by the repeated questioning and was let down by his lack of education, it seems he was not unaware of his unnecessary brusqueness to the court reporter.
In footage which has not yet been picked up by most outlets, Bieber apologized to the clerk, saying,
“Um, I’m sorry for letting this man [DiCowden] get to me before. My bad.”
[Video: Scroll to 2:54 minutes for Bieber’s apology.]
We haven’t seen Bieber’s deposition in its entirety, and certainly what is seen of the singer in extracts is hostile, flippant and obstructive behavior. However, it seems his snark at the court reporter was more of a misdirected spill from his interaction with opposing counsel.
At one point, Bieber told Binion’s attorney: “I don’t have to listen to anything you have to say.”
In response to another probe, Bieber hammed up mock-confusion, replying: “What kind of a question is that? That didn’t make sense,” later comparing DiCowden to Katie Couric and the hearing to 60 Minutes. The singer’s default response? “I don’t recall.”
A high-drama moment came when the “Baby” singer was asked if he’d ever talked to on-off girlfriend, Selena Gomez about his feelings toward paparazzi.
Clearly upset, Bieber covered his eyes with his hand and repeatedly told DiCowden, “Don’t ask me about her again.”
He was then advised to leave the room by one of his lawyers who objected on grounds of harassment.
Black – who fought for Bieber’s privacy rights over the release of jail footage of a urine test for drugs the singer conducted at a police station following his January DUI arrest – said the deposition videotape was also an invasion of Bieber’s privacy.
In addition, the attorney criticized the broad scope covered by Binion’s lawyer and said he asked questions “that had nothing to do with the case.”
Miami-Dade County Court circuit judge Sara Zabel previously denied motions from Bieber’s lawyers to seal the singer’s deposition. A later appeal was also denied.
“He has absolutely no privacy,” Black said of Bieber. “There’s absolutely no protection for somebody like Justin.”
Given that media organizations weren’t remotely interested in footage of Bieber’s DUI co-arrestee Khalil Sharieff’s drug test or custodial videos, Black has a point. Currently, Bieber is being ripped apart in numerous reports for not playing ball in a deposition in which he is being sued for millions by a paparazzo who of his own volition invaded the singer’s privacy.
Hollywood Life recently uploaded footage of Bieber being asked in the deposition about his run-in with a Brit paparazzo on the London leg of his Believe tour. Underneath the upload, the outlet wrote:
“It needs to be noted that Justin started very calm and polite in these interviews. It was only after hours of rude harassment that he became angry, which is the only [part] people saw.”
Meanwhile,Bieber’s repeatedly raised concerns about paparazzi recklessness and intrusion, self-evident targeting by the tabloid press for over a year, and abusive lack of privacy – ably demonstrated by the release of jail videos of his urinalysis test on the same day as the Miami deposition — are ignored.
Is it any wonder that the Bieber we see on these deposition videos appears to have run out of f_ to give?