Selena Gomez is being eyed as a witness by a lawyer for the photographer currently suing Justin Bieber in a civil assault case.
Photographer Jeffery Binion, 56, is seeking unspecified damages from Bieber and one of his bodyguard’s Hugo Hesny, in a lawsuit in which the lensman alleges he was assaulted on the singer’s orders outside Miami’s Hit Factory recording studio June 5, 2013, after he was seen taking photos of the Canadian pop star.
Binion is represented by Mark DiCowden as part of Russell S. Adler’s legal team.
According to Gossip Extra, DiCowden is dealing informally with Gomez’s lawyers and wants to grill the actress-singer as a witness in the Binion lawsuit. It’s reported he is fully prepared to subpoena the 21-year-old to appear in a deposition if these early negotiations stall.
Citing an unnamed source, the South Florida tabloid claims Bieber’s team are attempting to block a Gomez deposition.
“They know Selena wants no part of this,” a source told the website. “She knows it could be a PR disaster to end up on video like Justin last week.”
TMZ reports DiCowden wants to question Gomez about what she may have witnessed during a May 2012 incident in which paparazzo Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran claimed Bieber drop kicked him after he took photos of the then 18-year-old and Gomez while out on a date at a shopping center in Calabasas, California.
DiCowden considers Gomez’s witness status in that alleged incident as reason to believe she knows Bieber has a history of alleged violence toward paparazzi and establishes basis to ask Bieber about his relationship with the starlet, TMZ adds.
However, the Los Angeles District Attorney declined to press charges in Duran’s complaint against Bieber. The department issued a statement on November 21, 2012, explaining videos and photos taken at the scene and testimony from emergency workers attending the scene showed there was nothing indicating a physical altercation between Bieber and Duran took place.
Duran has since filed a civil assault and battery case in June 2013 and is seeking damages.
Bieber refused to answer DiCowden’s questions about Gomez in his March 6 deposition.
The hearing transcript and video revealed two of the singer’s attorneys — Howard Weitzman and Jeremiah Reynolds — criticized DiCowden’s questioning regarding Gomez as irrelevant and harassing and advised Bieber to step out of the hearing for a 15 minute recess.
DiCowden filed a motion Wednesday asking Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel to order Bieber to return to Florida within 30 days for another deposition. It would focus only on his relationship with Gomez, The Associated Press reports.
Additionally, the lawyer has asked the judge to ban Weitzman and Reynolds from acting for Bieber from this point on in the Binion suit. In his motion he states the attorneys incorrectly prevented him from asking about Gomez in Bieber’s deposition and notes the Latina star as a witness to previous altercations between Bieber and photographers.
Bieber and Gomez first started dating in 2010 before an initial break up in November 2012. The pair are thought to have reunited after multiple sightings of the couple in PDA moments in McAllen, Texas, over the weekend, ahead of Selena’s first comeback show following her brief rehab stint in January and a pull out from overseas legs of her Stars Dance tour.
Justin subsequently dedicated a song to Selena at an impromptu cameo during an acoustic showcase at the South By Southwest Festival on Sunday, March 9. On Monday he posted intimate dance videos of himself and Gomez to his Instagram account, later deleting.
Neither Gomez or Bieber’s reps have commented on the Binion lawsuit.