Justin Bieber has publicly commented on his Ferrari encounter with a paparazzo, which took place outside a Los Angeles comedy club on Monday night.
The 19-year-old was swarmed by waiting photographers as he left the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard.
Visibly uncomfortable at the chaotic scenes, flash photography, and the goading of a roving TMZ door-stepper, once he got into his Ferrari Bieber motioned to the photogs to clear out of the road so he could pull out but they continued to take pictures.
Eventually as more space cleared, the teen singer began pulling his Ferrari out. But as he drove off, his car struck one paparazzo — in the knee area of his left leg — who was standing in the road filming.
The Canadian star continued driving, while battling through the flash onslaught, and may not have been aware he had hit someone.
A video posted by the gossip website TMZ showed the paparazzo fall to the ground while gripping his knee.
At first reported as, and thought to be a hit and run, a preliminary investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department determined otherwise.
“It was not a hit and run,” said Los Angeles police department spokesman Bruce Borihanh. “The investigation is ongoing.” He added that the paparazzo’s injury was not life-threatening.
For his part, Bieber, took to Twitter just after midday (L.A. time) today to write:
sometimes u just wanna go to a comedy club and have a laugh. no trouble. just want to laugh.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) June 18, 2013
The pop star’s statement evidently expresses frustration about the constant paparazzi presence in his life, and a likely fatigue regarding the out-of-control element paparazzi add to situations in their mostly aggressive pursuit of celebrities.
Shortly after he tweeted his personalized message, the “Baby” singer reverted back to recent type, writing: “i’m all about the music.”
This latest incident, which the LAPD have confirmed wasn’t Bieber’s fault, echoes the teen’s star’s previously fraught encounters with paparazzi.
On July 6, 2012, the singer was chased by a pack of paparazzi in cars on the 101 Freeway in San Fernando Valley. Stopped by police for speeding and cited, Bieber was later chased again by the same paps which led to him calling 911 to ask for assistance.
On January 1, 2013, Chris Guerra, a 29-year-old paparazzo was hit by a passing car after he stopped to take photos of Bieber’s Ferrari which had been pulled over by police on Sepulveda Boulevard in L.A. At the time, Guerra believed the singer was in car. But, in fact, the driver was Lil Twist, a rapper and close friend of the star. Guerra later died in the hospital he was taken to.
At the time, Bieber released a statement through his record label Island Def Jam Music Group, calling for greater paparazzi regulation:
“While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim,” it read.
“Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders and the photographers themselves.”
On March 8, 2013, a Brit paparazzo repeatedly swore at the singer as he left a hospital during the London leg of his Believe tour. Bieber’s equally expletive-filled — “I’ll f**king beat the f**k out of you” — response was widely reported.
The singer is also being investigated by Los Angeles police following allegations of speeding in his Calabasas, Calif., neighborhood in his Ferrari in May. That case continues.
And, so too does the unregulated paparazzi hunting of a teenager, which is itself sanctioned by an entertainment news media complex that purchases the photographs, video, and/or audio obtained.
[Images via Sugarscape]