Justin Bieber is speaking out in defense of his longtime manager, Scooter Braun, after Taylor Swift slammed him for “manipulative bullying.”
Upon learning that Braun had acquired Big Machine Label Group, the record label that now owns her music catalog, for $300 million on Sunday, Swift, 29, shared a Tumblr blog post expressing her disdain for Braun, 38, and claiming that he used Bieber, 25, and on-and-off client Kanye West to bully her on social media following her feud with the rapper over the lyrics of his song “Famous.”
“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” Swift wrote. “Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it.”
Swift also shared a screenshot taken from Bieber’s Instagram account of an August 2016 post, in which the “Sorry” singer shared a Facetime call between himself and Braun — who can be seen with West, who Braun was not managing at the time of Bieber’s Instagram post. “Taylor swift what up,” Bieber captioned the post.
Shortly after Swift shared her post, Bieber shared a lengthy response on Instagram to both support Braun and apologize for his past actions.
“Hey Taylor,” Bieber began his message, which was posted alongside a throwback photo of him and Swift posing together. “First of all I would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time I thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted [sic] of scooter and Kanye that said ‘taylor swift what up’ he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.”
Bieber then went on to claim that Braun has had Swift’s “back” since the days when she “graciously” let Bieber open up for her on tour a decade ago.
“As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations,” Bieber wrote. “So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on Scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter.”
“Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you,” he continued. “I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth [sic] online I dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and I would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or [sic] any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or I have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you.”
Bieber concluded his message by saying, “I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..”
His wife Hailey Baldwin commented on his post, writing, “gentleman.” And Braun’s wife Yael Cohen shared a post on her Instagram page with the caption: “@taylorswift, I’m here to talk privately anytime.”
At the beginning of her Tumblr post, Swift explained how she tried for years to own her own music from Big Machine but was told that she could only do so if she signed a new contract that gave her ownership of one of her old albums for every new one she completed.
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, [Big Machine founder] Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” she wrote. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
Swift, whose new album Lover hits shelves Aug. 23, said learning that it was Braun who had ultimately purchased her masters from Borchetta was her “worst nightmare.”
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” she wrote. “This is my worst case scenario.”
Swift added of Borchetta, “This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”
A rep for Big Machine and a rep for Braun declined to comment.
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