Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bieber v. Bloom: Who’s to blame?

by Melissa Scott, Writing Intern

Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images for Variety
After spending three months as a criminal defense intern, I have a new appreciation for the phrase, “there’s always two sides to a story.” I’ve seen good, bad, and ugly. I found it challenging to assist clients who had committed violent and unnerving crimes. Other times, I felt immeasurably proud to represent clients accused wrongly or unjustly. It’s a rickety role to take on, and certainly a job bounded by blurred lines.

I used the knowledge gained from the internship in this analysis of Orlando Bloom’s recent brawl with Justin Bieber.

As a defense intern, I would first go to the scene of the crime and assemble the most accurate and unbiased account of the occurrence.

Bieber and Bloom congregated at the Cipriani restaurant in Ibiza, Spain, on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning, along with a handful of other celebrities.  The crowd included Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Diddy. Bloom made his way past Bieber’s table. Bieber offered a handshake. Bloom refused.

In response, Bieber made a snide remark regarding his own involvement in the alleged infidelity of Bloom’s ex-wife, Miranda Kerr. In an apparent retaliation, Bloom swung a fist aimed at Bieber’s face. He missed. Although Bloom missed his target, that fact merely changes the crime from assault to attempted assault.

Next, I might dig into the dirtier details of those involved.  Is there a history between the assaulter and victim? What was the reaction of witnesses and bystanders? What events may have occurred afterwards as a result of the dispute?

The bad blood between the two stars began with the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Bieber was seen getting forward and flirtatious with Bloom’s wife at the time—gorgeous Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. Bieber and Miranda allegedly partied after the show and sent dirty texts to each other. Reportedly, the fashion show Bieber-Kerr buzz led to growing tension between her and Bloom. The married couple separated in October 2013, less than a year later. Additionally, the newly single Bloom was later seen spending time with Bieber’s incessantly on-again off-again ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez, in April.

Back at the Cipriani, after the punch was thrown, the restaurant erupted in cheers and claps. Eye witness Spanish journalist Anastasia Skolkova reported, “It was amazing. Everyone stood up and started watching like it was a show and clapping. ... DiCaprio was flipping out.” It seems to be pretty clear what attitude the bystanders had in regards to the confrontation.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Bieber retaliated, as he would, through social media. He uploaded two inflaming pictures to his Instagram: one of a weeping Bloom, and a racy shot of Miranda in a bikini. He deleted both images within an hour of posting them.

Celebrities not involved in the squabble used social media to flash their responses to the event. Joshua Malina jokingly tweeted, “This Justin Bieber/Orlando Bloom thing is the first time I've been interested in a featherweight match.” Stephen Colbert agreed in his tweet, “Orlando Bloom was in LOTR, married Miranda Kerr AND punched Justin Bieber? By my count his monkey paw only has 2 fingers left.”

Someone even created a petition asking President Obama to declare July 29 “National Orlando Bloom Day.” The petitioner asked that Bloom receive the honor for giving Bieber a “knuckle sandwich on behalf of the entire civilized world.”

Usually, victims spark sympathy. But every so often, the assaulter is seen in a better light, and the general consensus is supportive. Bloom may have thrown the punch, but Bieber’s hands are certainly not clean. It didn’t take an actual investigation to designate fair blame in this case.



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