Justin Bieber has turned to Instagram to defend his veteran manager, Scooter Braun, after Taylor Swift posted a scathing indictment criticising him for "manipulative bullying".
Braun recently acquired Big Machine Records, which holds the rights to Swift's first six multi-platinum albums. In response, the singer wrote an emotional Tumblr message explaining that this is the worst possible outcome.
She also referenced an Instagram image by Bieber featuring Braun and Kanye West, captioned; "Taylor, what up." Swift took the image as a message of intimidation, with Braun's two artists mocking her.
The photo came after Kim Kardashian posted a recording of Taylor allegedly consenting to Kanye using her name for his music video and in the song Famous.
The manager has been employed by Ariana Grande (but was fired and subsequently rehired later…), Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.
Bieber began his own post of a years-old photo of the pair by apologising for the earlier image, writing
“Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologise for posting that hurtful Instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.
“I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshotted of scooter and Kanye that said ‘Taylor Swift what up’ he didn’t have anything to do with it and it wasn’t even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.”
The Love Yourself singer continued;
“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations.
"So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on Scooter isn’t fair. What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? Seems to me like it was to get sympathy. You also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully Scooter."
Bieber also claims that he tried to open direct lines of communication, after criticising Swift for 'defacing' Braun's character.
“Anyway, One thing I know is both scooter and I love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and forth online i don't believe solves anything,” he continued.
“I’m sure Scooter and I would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or I have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you," he added.
"I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone I love's character that's crossing a line."
Braun’s wife, Yael Cohen Braun, also came to his defence online, writing to her Instagram followers; “I have never been one for the public airing of laundry, but when you attack my husband… here we go.”
Yael Braun disputes Taylor's depiction of the conflict, emphasising that Swift was given fair notice of the deal between Scooter's Ithaca Holdings and Big Machine records;
“Interesting that the man you’re so ‘grossed out’ by believed in you more than you believe in yourself,” she wrote. “And girl, who are you to talk about bullying? The world has watched you collect and drop friends like wilted flowers. MY husband is anything but a bully.”
Many have defended Braun online, with supporters like Demi Lovato and Bieber's attorney Aaron Rosenberg speaking out against Taylor.
Demi Lovato wrote;
“Y‘all can come after me all you want but I’m always gonna stay loyal to my team. I value loyalty more than most people in this world and if my name is gonna be brought into conversations I’m gonna stand up for myself and the ones on my team."
Taylor is clearly devastated that Scooter has acquired the rights to her first six albums and life's work after he seemingly abetted Kim Kardashian and Kanye West drama, saying;
"Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it."
The drama is piping hot…Who do you believe; Team Scooter (Biebs, Kanye, Demi etc) or Team Taylor?
Feature image: Instagram/@taylornation