To See Or Not To See: Will Bieber’s Privates Go Public?
In the continuing saga of the criminal exploits of pop star Justin Bieber took an interesting turn this week when Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield ruled to release five police videos of Bieber, including two clips of his urine test, but not until authorities "shade or blacken" the singer’s genitals.
"No reason why the media should make a spectacle of that event, even if it happens to be someone who is high profile," one of Bieber’s attorneys, Howard Srebnick, told the Miami Herald.
The Miami-Herald reported that Bieber was arrested on Jan. 23 in South Beach, after police caught him racing a Lamborghini against his friend Khalil Amir Sharieff’s Ferrari. The pop star tested positive for marijuana and Xanax, scoring himself a DUI.
He also scored points when he hit the target during his urine test. Srebnick said that there are four clips in 10 hours of footage that show Bieber urinating, with only a small wall blocking the view. They have already released footage of the pop star being patted down by officers.
But looky-loos are citing Florida law, which states that the videos became public record once they were turned over to his defense team. And the Miami-Herald lawyer Scott Ponce noted that Bieber has posted a photo of his own bare butt online -- perhaps establishing precedence?
"The issue is: Do we see his penis or not see his penis?" asked Ponce.
Srebnick said that he found the argument "insulting and demeaning," noting that releasing the video would cause his client "irreparable harm."
In a UK Mirror article, Ponce said that he didn’t think the public had a right to see Bieber’s penis, but noted that the public had a right to "see him standing behind a wall doing what we know is urinating."
The Mirror reports that Florida courts reject the notion that alleged embarrassment is sufficient grounds to trump Public Records Act disclosure mandates.