Justin Bieber’s inner circle of friends are set to be subpoenaed and questioned about the singer’s alleged drug and alcohol use, by a lawyer representing a paparazzo who is suing Bieber and one of his security guards for assault.
Justin Bieber’s friends and fitness trainer are set to be subpoenaed and questioned about the singer’s alleged drug and alcohol usage, by the lawyer representing a paparazzo suing Bieber and one of his bodyguards who claims he was assaulted.
The case arises from a lawsuit filed over a January 23 incident, which allegedly took place before Bieber and his pal Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested on suspicion of DUI early that morning in Miami Beach, Florida.
Paparazzo Manuel Munoz claims he was locked in a Subway restaurant restroom after he was chased there by one of Bieber’s bodyguards, over alleged photographs he took of the singer leaving Miami Beach’s SET Nightclub.
Munoz alleges he was forced to delete photographs from his camera, had his memory card stolen and was beaten by one of Bieber’s bodyguards.
TMZ previously noted that in a police incident report Munoz didn’t mention being punched or kicked, but stated that a bodyguard — later identified as Dwayne Patterson – tripped him up, allegedly leaving him with a “small scratch in his left knee.”
The paparazzo also claimed he and Patterson bartered for the photos in the restroom, and told the bodyguard he would sell the pictures at a price of $10,000 with Patterson allegedly refusing to go above $5,000.
Now, Munoz’s lawyer is intent on hauling Bieber’s friends into depositions by subpoena in an attempt to prove alleged lawlessness reigns in the Canadian’s camp because of his alleged, drug abuse.
According to TMZ, the shortlist of pals includes rappers Xavier “Lil Za” Smith and his brother Christopher “Lil Twist” Moore, Sharieff, Bieber’s Swedish fitness trainer Patrick Nilsson, the singer’s manager Scooter Braun and others.
The spotlight will be on Bieber’s past drug and alcohol use that has been proven, and also on alleged drug use that has not been proven.
In January, a toxicology report taken after Bieber’s DUI arrest revealed he tested positive for marijuana and Xanax, the anti-anxiety drug.
However, despite a tide of claims at the time from gossip sites claiming Bieber drinks sizzurp — a narcotic cough syrup base which typically mixes codeine, promethazine and soda – the toxicology report didn’t reveal opiates, which is the family of drugs codeine belongs to.
There is currently no known physical evidence that Bieber takes sizzurp that would satisfy any legal court criteria.
It’s claimed Munoz’s lawyer believes the singer’s friends will sing like canaries when grilled about an alleged link between Justin’s “bizarre, aggressive behavior and his consumption of sizzurp, weed and alcohol,” according to TMZ.
Munoz’s lawyer seems to be taking cues from similar tactics used by a lawyer in yet another paparazzo lawsuit against Bieber. In that suit Braun will reportedly be probed on the singer’s alleged and – unproven – use of steroids.
(Photo: Bieber and Patrick Nilsson, his trainer, who may prove a firm sticking point to any alleged claims about sizzurp and steroids.)
Given that it’s unlikely Bieber’s friends will voluntarily reveal anything negative about him, the likely aim of the inner circle subpoenas is to get the singer to settle by sending a message to his legal team that Munoz’s lawyer will open the case to tabloid-friendly speculation.
Bieber’s infamous performance in a March 6 deposition in another paparazzi lawsuit serves as a warning to him and anyone connected to him of how damaging such hearings can be, especially when videotaped.
It’s a known known that the peculiar vulnerability of famous civil lawsuit defendants is their fame. Neither Justin, his management team or record company will want a lawsuit alleging drug use and the press headlines that would follow, even if those claims are exaggerated or have no bearing on the case.
So they may heed the threat. In which case, a settlement in this civil lawsuit, which is about money — will be offered sooner rather than later.
[Images via Instagram.]