Justin Bieber clearly does not want his picture taken without his permission.
Hot on the heels of recent alleged events in Miami, a new misdemeanor battery investigation involving the pop star’s security team is now underway after an alleged incident on Saturday.
TMZ reports law enforcement sources have confirmed Bieber and his security detail visited a hookah lounge in Hollywood, Calif., yesterday. Allegedly, things got heated when someone tried to take a picture of Justin.
Reportedly, the person attempting to snap the teen singer was not a paparazzo.
The individual is described in some reports as a fan, while other reports say the person was a patron at the lounge.
It’s claimed one of Bieber’s bodyguard’s tried to stop the individual from taking a picture. Allegedly a scuffle or some kind of hands-on action then took place between the bodyguard and the unidentified individual.
Reframed in some reports as a “reported victim,” at some point after the alleged incident the complainant called the police. However, by the time officers got to the lounge, Justin and his bodyguards had already left the scene.
Bieber is not a suspect in this latest misdemeanor battery investigation, but it is unclear what role he may or may not have played in the alleged incident.
The new claim comes after the singer’s security were accused of manhandling paparazzi in three separate incidents in Miami last week.
One of Bieber’s bodyguards reportedly clashed with a photographer who took a snap of the teen after the Miami Heat-Pacers game on Monday at the American Airlines Arena. Asked to delete the photo by the “Baby” star’s security, the pap refused. An arena guard reportedly then stepped in and the face-off diffused.
Two further incidents involving Team Bieber took place at Miami’s Hit Factory recording studio last Wednesday. The first, allegedly occurred at 4 am after a paparazzo took pictures of the pop star.
A purported audio tape of the 4 am alleged incident was posted by TMZ. It does not include any context of what may have occurred and/or been said by either party before the point of recording. The audio tape appears to reveal Bieber, or someone who sounds remarkably similar, telling his security team to stop the paparazzo from taking pictures. At some point the camera appears to get taken from the pap and the singer is heard agreeing to return it after first removing its SIM card.
Later that Wednesday, police were called out to the Hit Factory after a paparazzo claimed one of Bieber’s bodyguards “choked” him as he shot pictures of the singer skateboarding in the parking lot, while another guard allegedly grabbed the snapper’s camera and removed its memory card.
The parking lot battery investigation is continuing and may be reviewed by the state attorney’s office.
These latest alleged incidents reportedly follow a February incident involving Bieber’s security team and an adult male, who was reportedly not a paparazzo, in a San Fernando Valley Best Buy store.
It’s claimed the man approached the Canadian and asked for a photo, then took a picture after permission was not given. The man claimed that a bodyguard then asked him “immediately and angrily” to delete the shot, which he did. The man later called the police but Bieber and his team had left by the time they arrived.
Previously I asked “where is the line?” in the murky intersection on whether or not celebrities have the right to deny permission for pictures to be taken, and the commercial pursuit of those pictures by paparazzi.
That line gets even more blurred if picture takers are not paparazzi.
Granted, with the advent of social media we’re now used to an embarrassment of riches from celebrities on their Instagram, Twitter, Keek, Tumblr, Facebook, Vine accounts and other social media platforms. Obviously, stars cannot hide away 24/7, so the debate about personal rights, persistent snappers (of all kinds), and privacy will run and run.
But among the ever-expanding list of celebrities who have talked about — and in some cases — acted on these issues, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Alec Baldwin, Anne Hathaway, Reese Witherspoon, and recently, a heavily pregnant Kim Kardashian, all uniformly say the same thing:
When someone famous is not engaged in their professional job and is enjoying a downtime moment/activity, they believe they have a basic right to say, ‘I do not want my picture taken.’
Without question, a pop star who can pull in a 50,000 crowd on any given day of the week must expect a certain degree of intrusion. But are we really saying those in the public eye don’t have the right to refuse to to expose their image to whoever demands or asks for it, when they are not working?
As media professionals well know, once such pictures/audio/video gets online they are harvested by media outlets and, in turn, becomes the nucleus of the next story. So is the teen singer trying to stem the flood? Maybe, maybe not.
What is certain is this: Justin Bieber does not want his photograph taken (in downtime) without his permission, whether by paparazzi, fans, or bystanders.
Whether such a scenario is possible, given his vaulting fame and recently acquired notoriety, is another matter.
[Images via Sugarscape]