Justin Bieber Was Not Blackmailed By TMZ Over Racist Videos

Truth rating: 2
(Getty Images)

By Daniel Gates

(Getty Images)

In the wake of the release of the videos showing a teenage Justin Bieber making racist jokes, a theory has emerged that TMZ essentially blackmailed the pop star for years by threatening to release the clips if he didn’t cooperate with the site.

According to the rumor, Bieber traded appearances on TMZ Live and other access in exchange for the outlet keeping the embarrassing clips under wraps.

When Gossip Cop reached out to the singer’s camp, we were told there’s “absolutely no truth” to the theory.

While it is true that TMZ knew about the N-word footage four years ago — as the webloid acknowledged in its first story about the tapes last weekend — the idea that TMZ blackmailed Bieber begins to break down under scrutiny.

For one thing, TMZ has hammered Bieber for various missteps for years — to the point that Bieber’s fans have repeatedly attacked the site for exaggerating his bad behavior and supposedly having a vendetta against him.

Also, if TMZ really had a secret deal with Bieber, it seems odd that the giant site would slam the pop star — often being the first outlet to break news of his problems — dozens and dozens of times.

Moreover, while the leaked footage is certainly damaging to Bieber’s reputation, the singer’s camp did not believe the tapes were sufficiently damaging to pay off the individual who ultimately released them.

The alleged blackmailer with access to the videos couldn’t drop his price low enough for Bieber’s camp to cut an agreement.

In fact, by all appearances it seems as though while Bieber’s camp (obviously) would have preferred the tapes remain unseen forever — they were prepared to explain them as the embarrassing mistakes of a kid who didn’t know any better should the footage ever be publicized.

With TMZ getting huge traffic this week off of Bieber’s N-word jokes, it would make sense for his team to instead lash out at the site.

It could be way simpler than that — TMZ is a major celebrity news provider, and Bieber has maintained a working relationship with TMZ for years because a solid connection with them (despite dozens of negative stories) was mutually beneficial.

No blackmail needed to be involved.

So while it’s an interesting theory, and it’s impossible to say for sure what happened with different outlets after Bieber was filmed saying those things, there’s no real evidence to indicate that he and TMZ had some kind of nefarious secret deal.

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