A celebrity photographer (aka paparazzi) is seeking to boost the potential damages he could win from Justin Bieber in a lawsuit accusing him and a bodyguard of assault, according to Miami Herald.
The photographer’s attorney, Mark DiCowden, said at a Tuesday hearing (April 1st) that he has documented at least 11 similar alleged assaults against photographers over two years involving Justin and his security personnel.
DiCowden said a punitive damage award for photographer Jeffrey Binion could deter future assaults.
DiCowden said in asking Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel to allow him to pursue unspecified punitive damages.
It’s not a financial fishing expedition. It is well known around the world that Justin Bieber does not like to be photographed in public.
Judge Zabel did not immediately rule.
Justin attorney Jared Lopez said there is no evidence that Binion was physically harmed in the alleged attack in June — meaning compensatory damages for the paparazzi might be minimal — and no proof that Justin Bieber himself told bodyguard Hugo Hesny to go after Binion.
“I don’t tell security how to do their job,” Justin said in a March deposition in the case, according to Lopez.
Outside the courtroom, Justin attorney Roy Black called the lawsuit “frivolous” and intended mainly to generate publicity. DiCowden denied that.
Hugo Hesny is facing a misdemeanor battery charge in the Binion case, and he was also recently charged in another photographer confrontation in Atlanta. Justin is not facing criminal charges in either case. Other incidents involving Justin bodyguards have occurred in Los Angeles, Hawaii, Argentina and England, according to court papers.
DiCowden also wants Zabel to order Justin Bieber to return to Miami for another deposition to answer questions about his on-again, off-again girlfriend, singer and actress Selena Gomez. DiCowden claims he was improperly prevented from asking those questions during the March deposition and that they are important to the Florida case because she may have been present during previous photographer attacks.
Judge Zabel is holding a hearing in June on that request.