Earlier this month, Justin Bieber was hit with a lawsuit for his actions in a street brawl in Cleveland after Game 3 of the 2016 NBA Finals. In the incident, Rodney Cannon said Bieber “suddenly became irate” over a photo, and leveled “threatening communications made in public in front of a number of people, including racial epithets,” which sources later confirmed to be the “N-word.”
In response to the suit, Scooter Braun, the Biebs’ longtime advisor and manager, issued a statement on Twitter, chalking it all up to a money grab for publicity.
“Justin Bieber has done a lot of stupid things in his past but what he has also done is apologize and own his mistakes,” Braun wrote. “This most recent claim against him is completely false and a fabrication from a man who tried to push for money for the last several years. It is disgusting to me to see this man lie and try to bring race into a situation to scare us into a payment again. He never said these things before because they never happened. This is a smear tactic to get money and it’s gross.”
“So I repeat, these statements against Justin are completely false and we won’t be scared or blackmailed. This man should be ashamed of himself. Real racism exists…but it doesn’t apply here. Just terrible,” he added.
Initially, Cannon filed the suit to hold the singer accountable for the physical, mental and emotional injuries he sustained in the incident. But now, in the wake of Braun’s response and claims of blackmail, Cannon has filed a new statement, demanding the singer be held accountable for using the “N-word” to insult and humiliate him.
“Justin Bieber has a history of inappropriate behavior,” Cannon’s attorney said, adding that the singer is “fortunate” his client did “not engage in mutual combat.”
“Mr. Bieber’s celebrity does not give him a license to use the N-word,” the attorney’s continued, as they highlighted Bieber’s history of bad behavior. In fact, the attorney’s also responded to Braun’s blackmail claim, saying, “This lawsuit was not filed for publicity. If that was the case, it would have been filed at the time the assault was first reported.”