Yes, Says Top Attorney — but He'll Have a Hard Time Proving Damages

Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty Images Photo: Justin Bieber Performs at the 33rd Annual Georgia Music Hall of Fame Awards on September 17, 2011

Now that Justin Bieber has reportedly given a DNA sample to determine, once and for all, if he’s the father of Mariah Yeater’s baby son, Trystan, his team is clear about one thing: If it’s proven that Justin is not the father, he will sue Yeater to make an example of her. His message: If you make up false stories about a celebrity, you will pay for damaging that star’s reputation.

Proving those damages, however, is easier said than done, according to attorney Stuart Slotnick, chair of Business Litigation at the Manhattan law firm Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney. “He cannot sue her for defamation just because she filed the paternity lawsuit,” Slotnick exclusively tells Wetpaint Entertainment. “There’s a litigation privilege. He can, however, sue her for defamation based on what she told the media in her various interviews about him being the father of her baby.”

“But in that scenario, his legal team has to prove he’s actually suffered damages, which I think will be extremely difficult. They need to show his career has suffered as a result of the accusations. Did the number of Justin Bieber song downloads halt suddenly? Did ticket sales drop tremendously? If they did, then he could show some kind of correlation. But if he’s making as much money as ever and remains as popular as ever, then he’s going to have a hard time proving damages. And, if anything, her team could come back and say his exposure and his popularity has actually increased because of her accusations.”

Bieber’s team has also claimed the pop star never even met Yeater, implying that she committed the crime of perjury when she gave her sworn statement about meeting Bieber backstage, then having 30-second sex with him in a bathroom. “Again, it’s going to be tough for his side to prove she’s lying. He may not be the father of this baby, but they still could have met and had sex that night. His lawyers would have to somehow demonstrate there was no possible way Justin could have met her and had 30 seconds alone with her after that concert for them to prove perjury on her part.”

In the end, it remains to be seen if Justin will get his day in court. But if it comes out that he’s not the father of Yeater’s son, which has not yet been confirmed, he’ll have proved something more important: He’s an honest guy.

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