Was Justin Bieber smoking pot before paparazzo killed?
Friend of the deceased claims lensman saw star smoking pipe in his car earlier in the day
If the first day of 2013 was a sign of what’s to come this year in Justin Bieber’s increasingly dramatic personal life, then we’re in for one heck of a ride.
In the wake of the New Year’s Day death of photographer Chris Guerra - struck by a car while pursuing a photo of the 18-year-old pop star in L.A. – there have been conflicting allegations of drug use on Bieber’s part and stalking and harassing by the dead paparazzo.
Police say Guerra, 29, was following Bieber’s white Ferrari (which was actually being driven by a friend of pop star) when it was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 405. After the photographer was ordered to stop taking pictures and go back to his vehicle, cops say he was struck trying to cross four lanes of traffic.
Bieber’s camp released a statement shortly after calling for more meaningful legislation that would prevent such incidents, but was eager to distance the pop star from the situation, highlighting the fact he “wasn’t present” or “directly involved” in the accident.
Unfortunately for the “Baby” singer, he hasn’t been able to escape the drama that easily.
A fellow photographer and close friend of Guerra, who was the last person to speak to him an hour before his death, told TMZ the deceased insisted he’d spotted Bieber smoking marijuana out of a pipe in his luxury wheels earlier in the day after leaving the Four Seasons hotel.
The friend said Guerra believed he was following the star once again later in the day and was anxious to capture the incriminating behaviour on film, unaware this time it was actually Bieber’s friend who was driving the Ferrari.
As pot buzz builds around the teen idol, sources close to Bieber have come to his defense, telling TMZ the Stratford native was consistently stalked and harassed by the dead lensman, who they insist was lying about the “Never Say Never” singer smoking weed.
Budding marijuana habit or not, the deadly incident follows a year of high-stakes drama for the mega-star, cited for excessive speeding in L.A. back in July, insisting he was just trying to outrun the paparazzi and even calling 911 on photographers to complain of harassment.
“It was a very dangerous, chaotic situation,” Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine said at the time, after witnessing the star blow past him on the freeway at what he estimated was close to 100 miles per hour. “When he passed me, he was driving in a careless, reckless fashion.”
Bieber was pulled over again in November for making an unsafe turn while cruising around L.A., his need for speed regularly witnessed by photographers assigned to his beat.
And if it isn’t drama behind the wheel, the teen heartthrob has been busy making headlines for his tumultuous love life with on-off gal-pal Selena Gomez. The visibly emotional star was snapped getting in a scuffle with a photographer while out with the Disney diva in May, and then again while making a scene outside Gomez’s gate in November when she refused him entry after a monstrous fight.
And with a Bieber source telling TMZ the volatile lovebirds split again on Dec. 30 while on a getaway in Mexico, it looks like there will be no end to that drama in the days and weeks ahead.