Eighteen-year-old pop singer Justin Bieber has been accused of beating up a photographer, Hollywood website TMZ.com reports. According to their witnesses, Bieber was trying to leave a shopping center in Calabasas, Los Angeles, with his girlfriend, Selena Gomez, on May 27 when an unidentified paparazzo blocked his car to take pictures of the couple. Bieber supposedly stepped out of the car and asked the man to leave, but he refused, resulting in the alleged altercation.
TMZ also reported that, after the brawl, a lawyer approached the photographer and told him that he could get a lot of money if he called for an ambulance and filed a police report.
Lillian Peck, a Los Angeles County Sheriff spokesperson, told Reuters UK that the case is being investigated as a misdemeanor battery complaint and that the officers are looking for possible eyewitnesses. Peck also said that the photographer, who had complained of pain, was treated on the scene by paramedics and was later examined in a hospital. He was released on the same day.
According to the photographer, Bieber left before the police arrived. As of press time, the star’s publicist with Island/Def Jam Music Group has not yet given a statement regarding the case.
Bieber’s new album, Believe, will be released worldwide in June.
(Photo by Adam Suntana via Flickr Creative Commons)