By Courtney E. Smith
As a conspiracy theory, this one has been floating around the internet since at least 2012. However, Defamer is making the case, with some circumstantial evidence, that TMZ might have been blackmailing Justin Bieber with the recently released videos in which he uses racial slurs.
TMZ themselves admit in their post of the first video on Sunday (June 1) that they were in possession of the clip for four years prior to posting it, stating that they had not done so previously because, “he was 15 and immediately told his friends what he did was stupid.”
The video was posted that day by British tabloid paper The Sun.
Defamer has sources, however, who say the video was kept secret as a piece of blackmail, to ensure them access to the star and scoops from his management. They point to Bieber’s 2010 appearance on the show, shortly after the video was obtained.
For their part, a representative from TMZ calls the allegations “completely not true.”
TMZ posted a second video on Wednesday (June 2) of Bieber singing a racist song after The Sun declined to. They posted a statement from “Bieber and his team” saying that “they want this video out, because he wants to own what he did.”
TMZ added, “Bieber and his team say various people have tried to extort him over the last few years — demanding money for both this video and the one he made when he was 15. Justin says he will not be shaken down anymore.”
In the aftermath, Bieber issued an apology following the first video via Twitter. After the second video, he posted the note below to Instagram.
His manager, Scooter Braun, posted the below to Instagram, seemingly in response.