US$9m lawsuit for Bieber; it's a scream!
Are Justin Bieber's masses of screaming tweener fans annoying to you? Count your blessings—it could be a lot worse. He's has been slapped with a lawsuit by an Oregon woman who claims that she suffered extensive hearing damage brought on by shrieking fans at one of his concerts.
In the suit, Stacey Wilson Betts claims that she attended a July 14, 2010, Bieber concert with her daughter at the Rose Quarter in Portland. According to Betts, the injury occurred when he "climbed into a heart-shaped, aluminium/steel gondola and was pulled out over the crowd".
The lawsuit says he then "enticed the crowd into a frenzy of screams by continuously waving his arms in a quick and upward motion". Unfortunately, according to Betts, "the gondola that he was suspended in acted as a sound conductor, creating a sound blast that permanently damaged both of my ears".
Betts claims that, because of the alleged incident, she now suffers "hearing loss, severe tinnitus and hyperacusis (an oversensitivity to certain frequency ranges of sound) in both ears".
The suit—which also names his record label Island Def Jam, concert promoter AEG Worldwide, and Vulcan Sports and Entertainment, which owns the Rose Quarter—is seeking US$9,230,000 in damages, plus court costs, attorneys' fees and other expenses related to the suit.
This is Bieber's second run-in with the law this month. Last Friday, he was pulled over for speeding down an LA freeway in his flashy but environmentally friendly sports car, and police said they were investigating reports that he was being chased by paparazzi.
He was driving his chrome-bodied Fisker Karma, a luxury hybrid-electric roadster, when he was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers at about 10:45am. He told officers he was being chased by photographers, but a second vehicle that police saw pursuing his car at high speed got away without being stopped.
Bieber, whom cops described as polite and cooperative when pulled over, was issued a traffic ticket for speeding and was released. A CHP spokesman said that Bieber was cited for driving 129km per hour in a 105kph zone.
But an LA city councilman who happened to be driving on that portion of the freeway at the time said the Fisker Karma that roared past him was doing at least 160kph while darting aggressively from one lane to another, with a pack of five or six other cars in hot pursuit. "He was driving in a careless, reckless fashion," Councilman Dennis Zine told Reuters.
"Just because he's a celebrity doesn't mean he can endanger life and property," said Zine, a 40-year veteran of the LA Police Department who's still registered as an LAPD reserve officer.
Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, was quoted by a celebrity news website as calling Zine "a councilman looking for a headline". Zine bristled at the comment, saying the CHP had received 911 calls from about 10 other motorists reporting the speeding freeway cars. "Their client needs to mature," Zine said.
Bieber, who has professed a determination to maintain a squeaky-clean image, has had run-ins with the paparazzi before. In May the LA County Sheriff's Department was investigating a complaint that he had roughed up a man—identified as a celebrity photographer—who was taking pictures of him at a suburban shopping centre.
Published: 13th July 2012