What Are Justin Bieber's Options Now That Mariah Yeater Has Dropped Her Paternity Suit?
Perhaps Mariah Yeater read our rundown of the legal actions she could face from falsely accusing Justin Bieber of fathering her newborn child, because the 20-year-old has dropped her paternity suit against the "Mistletoe" singer. Prior to Yeater's decision to drop the suit, Bieber's camp promised to pursue legal action against the California woman. "I can confirm that the team has proactively made arrangements for Justin to be tested upon his return and we're going to hold everyone who is involved responsible," Bieber spokesperson Matthew Hiltzik said in a statement. "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." Whether that accountability will still include legal action remains unclear. However, according to family law attorney Vicki Ziegler, even though the suit has been dropped, Bieber still has options. "He can still sue for defamation
for weeks his reputation was tarnished, but he must prove actual damages. That may be a bit difficult though, i.e. sales drops of his music, receiving hate email, less appearances."
Yeater's lawyers, Lance Rogers and Matt Pare, have also reportedly dropped her as a client and will not represent her in any further legal action.
"Bieber can still sue for all of the prior legal actions, but the dismissal was a smart legal move to demonstrate her wrongdoing by alleging Bieber was the father of her child," Ziegler tells MTV News. "I think Bieber's camp should send a message to other copycats alike to be forewarned that if a false allegation is made it will be met with a strong legal challenge."
Ziegler notes that Yeater now finds herself in a Catch-22 situation because if she admits to falsely accusing the star, she also acknowledges lying under oath. In a signed affidavit, Yeater claimed that she had unprotected sex with Bieber backstage following the singer's October 25, 2010, concert at Los Angeles' Staples Center resulting in her pregnancy.
Asked what she would advice Yeater to do, Ziegler says, "I may ask Yeater to apologize to Beiber and his fans for falsely accusing him and acknowledging her wrongdoing. But if she does that she's admitting to perjury or lying under oath in her complaint for paternity."
Ultimately, Bieber's decision to pursue further action will hinge on whether he wants to send a message that he will not tolerate false allegations being brought against him. "Beiber can turn this whole nightmare into an awareness matter for celebs and young people," Ziegler says.