Justin Bieber's attorney lashed out against the public and media treatment of his client as one of several cases involving the pop star moved closed to trial Tuesday, saying celebrities like Bieber fall victim to a society that does "almost everything we can to destory their lives."
"In America, we have a pathology about celebrities," attorney Roy Black said Tuesday. "We love it when people start becoming successful, but once they are actually highly successful, we do almost everything we can to destory their lives."
Several court cases and run-ins with the law have kept the 20-year-old singer in the news in recent weeks. Bieber drew criticism after clips showing him acting defiant and at times dismissive during a deposition for a lawsuit filed by a photographer who claims he was attacked by a bodyguard were published online. On Tuesday, a judge set a May 5 trial date in the Miami Beach case charging him with driving under the influence, resisting arrest and possessing an invalid driver's license. Bieber has pleaded not guilty in that case.
Black said Bieber's troubles, which he blamed in part on a lack of privacy and the paparazzi attention he attracts, are the "best example" of what's wrong with being a successful celebrity today.
The attorney said Bieber's legal team will now start preparing for trial in the DUI case. The first trial date was postponed while attorneys for news organizations and Bieber wrestled with release of police videos of him giving a urine sample for a drug test. Prosecutors said at a Monday hearing that no plea offer has been made.
Those videos were made public last week with some segments blacked out. Another 10 hours of police video had been released earlier.
Bieber and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested Jan. 23 in Miami Beach after what police called an illegal drag race between high-end sports cars.
Bieber cursed repeatedly at a police officer after the 4:09 a.m. traffic stop and acknowledged smoking marijuana, drinking and taking an unknown prescription medication, police said.
The Miami Beach Police reports, however, show that Bieber was given four alcohol breath tests, with the first two not usable because of insufficient volume of breath.
The third test, administered at 5:37 a.m., showed an alcohol reading of .014 and a fourth, at 5:40 a.m., came up at .011. Both are under the .02 limit in Florida for a driver under the legal drinking age of 21. The limit for drivers above that age is .08.
Police later said a toxicology test detected marijuana and Xanax in his system.