Mariah Yeater has reportedly withdrawn her lawsuit against Justin Bieber. Her lawyer, Jeffrey Leving, explains that he has withdrawn the lawsuit in hopes of forcing an out-of-court settlement — what may appear to be a conflict strategy.
Leving says that he and his client reevaluated their earlier strategy after receiving death threats — a response that one would have thought was predictable in this celebrity-driven society.
Leving explained “[i]n light of death threats directed toward my client, strategies have been reviewed. The San Diego case has been withdrawn, and we’re trying to settle out of court with Bieber’s counsel. We’re working out a DNA test confidentially.”
In defense of Leving, since Bieber, 17, has reportedly agreed to a DNA test, there may be no need for a filing at this point. Bieber has reportedly decided to take such a test . . . and may sue Yeater if it turns out false. We previously discussed such a defamation threat. The question is whether, if the DNA test is negative, it was defamation for her to make the allegation. As a celebrity, Bieber falls under New York Times v. Sullivan and the higher standard of proof. He would have to show knowing falsehood or reckless disregard. Absent of a DNA test, Yeater could argue that she did not actually know who the father was. This, however, would only work as an argument if she could prove that she had sex with Bieber — something that he denies. If she could show she had sex after the concert (with the support of body guards or other witnesses), there would remain the problem of her having multiple sex partners during this period since, if the test is negative, the real father had to be someone else. Is it reckless disregard if she believed that he was the only partner who fell within the relevant time period?
Bieber’s lawyers wisely laid the foundation for such an action, stating “It’s sad that someone would fabricate malicious, defamatory and demonstrably false claims. We’ll vigorously pursue all available legal remedies to protect Justin and to hold those involved with bringing this suit accountable for their actions.”
I previously wrote a column on the case and the remarkable admission by Yeater that, if true, her alleged tryst was a case of statutory rape. Of course, if she denies the statutory rape charge now, she would be laying the foundation to be charged with defamation. She may wish she went to a Jonas Brothers concert instead.
Source: NY Daily News