"I'd just like to say, basically, that none of those allegations are true, and I know that I'm gonna be a target, but I'm never going to be a victim. I think it's crazy, because every night after the show, I'm gone right from the stage right to my car. So it's crazy that some people want to make up such false allegations but it's true," Bieber said, adding that he never even met the woman. "There's gonna be goods and bads about this business, and I just want to focus on what's real. My fans are real, the charity work that I'm doing for my album is real, and this is real."
It was obvious that Bieber rehearsed his answers several times; he fumbled the target/victim line to the point of confusion, and he didn't even say "like" as filler once, so you know that his interview was as practiced and precise as a statement. Still, this is a 17-year-old kid facing the first major controversy of his young career, and the magnitude of the accusations -- that he fathered a child after a Staples Center bathroom rendezvous -- likely blindsided the singer. It was essential that he face the rumors head on and deny them. Otherwise, they'd just linger. Only the results of the paternity test would truly kill this story, but Bieber's Today visit doused some serious fire.
(It's a good thing Bieber denied the allegations, because the outdoor interview would have turned into a riot had he confirmed the rumors to be true. Not even the barricades could have contained the hundreds of furious, bloodthirsty Bieber fans from turning the Rockefeller Center plaza into Occupy Oakland.)
After the interview, Bieber tweeted, "thanks for letting me set the record straight. what is real are my fans...this album...and this charity work. see u guys the 23rd."
- Justin Bieber