Justin Bieber’s rep has blasted claims that the teen singer spat on his fans from his hotel balcony in Toronto, after pictures were posted by TMZ last week.
In images that went around the world, the 19-year-old was clearly seen spitting from a balcony at the Hazelton Hotel while a group of his friends looked on.
Pictures of mostly female fans gathered outside Bieber’s hotel gazing up at him from the sidewalk below were also published by media outlets, and cemented the impression that the singer spat on the crowd.
But in a strong statement, a rep for the Canadian singer says that impression is not only incorrect, but manipulated.
“Justin didn’t spit on anyone. No fans were below the balcony,” the spokesperson exclusively told Us magazine.
The rep continued: “TMZ superimposed photos of the fans next to Justin on a completely different balcony to make it appear like he was spitting on fans when he wasn’t.”
“In fact, earlier in the day, Justin bought his fans hot chocolate and played them some of his new music. Justin loves his fans.”
The original pictures of Bieber spitting were captured by freelance photographer Sean O’Neill at around 4 pm on Thursday, July 25.
Earlier that same day, the singer posted an Instagram video of fans standing outside his hotel with the caption, “I wake up this morning to this…best fans in the world. #beliebers #sexyfans.”)
In nearly all media reports, the images of the crowd at the hotel seen in Bieber’s Instagram video were positioned alongside O’Neill’s spitting images, yet the singer posted the video hours earlier.
Bieber also posted photos of himself standing on a balcony with a secondary ledge beneath it, that appears to be in a separate location to another balcony seen in pictures he posted.
This suggests the singer’s hotel suite has numerous balconies.
Despite this, the majority of media outlets reported the singer spat on his fans. Most stated Bieber was guilty of “disrespecting” them, one said he was “showing just what he thought of the throng of adoring girls” outside his hotel.
Additionally, most reports (including IQ‘s) referred to previous spitting accusations against the pop star.
These include an alleged March incident at the singer’s Calabasas, CA, home after a neighbor claimed the pop star spat and threatened him during an argument, and another claim from an Ohio based deejay alleging the singer spat in his face in a nightclub after a dispute over taking photos.
However, the third accusation was largely misreported and omitted the accuser’s clarification.
On January 22 this year, Sweet Carolina Radio host Colette Harrington Schwoeri took to Facebook to describe an allegedly unpleasant encounter with Bieber and his friends at North Carolina’s Ritz Carlton Hotel gym. She also said she drank the singer’s drink by mistake.
At the time, Bieber’s rep denied Schwoeri’s claims and said the singer and his friends had directed their expletive-filled comments to themselves, not to the radio host.
Schwoeri later backtracked the ‘spit’ part of her claim insisting she “never said” Bieber spat in her drink.
“I never said Justin or his posse spit in my drink, in fact, anyone can read the post on my wall about the incident (hours after it happened), ” she wrote. “I drank JB’s Gatorade thinking it was mine.” [Note: Caps removed from Schwoeri’s post.]
Tellingly, she added: “The only thing TMZ asked me is, ‘did I think he left it on purpose.’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, I hope not.’”
Bieber’s camp deny any spitting by the singer occurred in all three claims.
As IQ previously reported, public spitting by anyone unless they’ve just run a 10,000 km marathon is horrendous. But there is also a distinction between spitting generally and aiming saliva at others.
Whatever opinions people may have of Bieber, heck he even united divided voters in disapproval ratings, erroneously blaming someone for something is poor form.
Assumptions that Bieber spat on his fans would appear to be at least undermined by close-ups of the balconies, arguably contradicted by his relationship with his fans and, according to his rep — based on superimposed images.
“At what point are we going to start demanding that journalists actually fact check?” the rep asked. “And at what point does the media have to have some kind of standard or some kind of integrity?”
Good questions. Anyone?