Justin Bieber and former girlfriend, Selena Gomez, are reportedly set to attend a civil trial one day after the Grammys, unless the paparazzo-brought case against the Canadian superstar is settled.
The ex-couple will both be required to testify in the trial which begins on Tuesday, February 16, in Los Angeles Superior Court. Gomez previously attended a deposition in July, 2014, after she was subpoenaed as a witness.
Paparazzo Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran filed a civil suit against Bieber back in June, 2013, claiming the then-18-year-old singer assaulted him in the parking lot of The Commons shopping mall in Calabasas, California, on May 27, 2012.
At the time, Duran was one of a number of paparazzi following and photographing Justin and Selena — who were dating at the time — as they left a movie theater.
The paparazzo’s lawyers alleged in court papers that Bieber “was enraged that (Duran) and other paparazzi had been photographing Bieber and… Gomez as they walked out of the mall and then as Bieber struggled to pull his huge van out of the crowded mall parking lot.”
The pap claims this alleged attack by Bieber occurred when the then teen jumped out of his van and sprinted toward him. Duran alleges Bieber sprang into the air and hit him in the abdomen with a martial arts kick before allegedly punching him in the face.
Despite that somewhat dramatic language, it’s worth noting that it was later reported that doctors at the hospital the paparazzo was routinely taken to found only superficial injuries on Duran, and police deputies who attended at the scene did not see any injuries after the supposed assault.
In addition, several witnesses were interviewed. Not one said they saw Bieber kick Duran, and it was reported that the paparazzo continued to take photos of Bieber and Gomez as they left the scene. All of which suggests Duran was not injured, or not to the degree he claimed.
In an evidential document obtained by the Associated Press in November, 2012, prosecutors from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office explained their reason for declining to file a case against Bieber, stating, “All the photos and video taken during this incident by the many photographers were obtained and reviewed.”
“There are no photos of a physical altercation,” the statement continued.
Fast forward to the upcoming first trial day on Tuesday. The court date follows numerous postponements and a mediation session on May 22, 2015, during which the two parties evidently failed to reach a settlement. Gossip Extra claims the judge in the case won’t accept any more delays.
Will Team Bieber settle and avoid going to court? If they don’t, it will likely be because they believe the case against the singer isn’t strong, or based on fact, and fancy their chances at a trial.
Gossip Extra, a lower-end tabloid, alleges a source connected to the Purpose singer purportedly said, “They’ve been negotiating for ever with Duran’s people. Duran doesn’t think he is being taken seriously.”
“Justin’s people are consistently offering him less than seven figures and Duran wants more than seven figures.”
The “Sorry” singer’s lawyers have reportedly dealt with other civil lawsuits brought by plaintiffs alleging assault by Bieber’s bodyguards by settling out of court. Duran’s case is the last, and it is the only one where no bodyguards were present.
Meanwhile, like many other A-list artists, Bieber and Gomez are just days away from attending the biggest event in the U.S. music industry’s calendar — the 58th Annual Grammy Awards.
Selena is attending as a guest, and the Biebs is performing “Where Are Ü Now?,” the song he is nominated for in the Best Dance Recording alongside Jack Ü’s Diplo and Skrillex.
The Inquisitr will continue to report updates on the Duran Vs. Bieber case.
[Images via Ari Perilstein/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images]