We saw it when #MeToo was at its height, and we’re seeing it again — over 6 years later, and these stories are coming out of the woodwork.
In a string of survivors stepping forward to call out male celebrities for sexual assault, Justin Bieber is next to come under fire.
Under the alias of “Danielle”, a user claimed that she was sexually assaulted by Bieber in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2014. She states that she was given the courage to step forward and make her accusations after Gabby, an alleged victim of Ansel Elgort, spoke out about her story online earlier this week.
A portion of Danielle’s now-deleted allegation reads as follows:
“Fast forward to arriving at the hotel. Justin’s friend brought my 2 friends to a room, and then he took me to another room. Justin had made me agree not to say anything to anyone, or I can get in serious legal trouble. He asked for my phone and put it to charge.
Our small kisses then turned into a steamy make-out session. I told him that this was going to far, and that we needed to stop because I needed to find my friends, mostly because I felt guilty about Selena [Gomez] (Bieber’s then-girlfriend). I told him to get off because I was worried about my friends, but it was too late. He forced himself inside of me before I got my last few words out. I laid there, speechless. My body felt unconscious, I don’t want to go into detail about what happened next. Although, this was 6 years ago, although I was one year older than him (he was 20, I was 21), I was still sexually assaulted without consent.” — Danielle via Twitter
Bieber was quick to respond with hotel and AirB&B receipts for the day in question, in an attempt to prove that he could not have committed the sexual assault. He also state that he attended the event with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez, to offer further question to the validity of the account.
Bieber calls this event “factually impossible”.
“I don’t normally address things as I have dealt with random accusations my entire career but after talking with my wife and team I have decided to speak up on an issue tonight.
Rumors are rumors but sexual abuse is something I don’t take lightly. I wanted to speak out right away but out of respect to so many victims who deal with these issues daily I wanted to make sure I gathered the facts before I made any statement.
In the past 24 hours a new Twitter appeared that told a story of myself involved with sexual abuse on March 9, 2014 in Austin Texas at the Four seasons hotel. I want to be clear. There is no truth to this story. In fact as I will soon show I was never present at that location.” — Justin Bieber, via Twitter
His full set of responses to “Danielle”’s allegations can be found below:
While Bieber’s receipts prove that he had hotel rooms and attended the event with his then-girlfriend for the weekend, I know just as many survivors so that violation doesn’t have to take hours upon hours for it to be valid.
A rape can take place in just 10 minutes.
A sexual assault can take place in 3 minutes.
A groping can take place in just one second.
When survivors of sexual assault step forward, they give courage to others to do the same
First Comedian Chris D’Elia, then Actor Ansel Elgort, now Justin Bieber.
As was the exact case when D’Elia and Elgort were called out on social media, once the first victim came forward, other women stepped forward as well to claim they too had been sexually assaulted by the singer
Bieber’s second alleged victim in these accusations, Twitter user ItsnotKadi, claims that she too was sexually assaulted by Justin Bieber in New York City in 2014.
I believe Danielle, I am a victim of sexual assault by Justin Bieber too.
Kadi alleges that her assault took place at New York’s Langham hotel in the early morning hours of May 5, 2015.
She claims that she was groped by Bieber before being forcibly penetrated, at which point she kicked Bieber in self-defence and fled.
Bieber has yet to respond to Kadi’s allegations.
That said, screenshots have arisen showing that Kadi was a superfan of Justin Bieber’s before the alleged assault, with nay-sayers using this as “evidence” to disprove the assault.
As if her devotion to Bieber before the alleged assault makes her a hypocrite.
But what these users fail to recognize is that it is through fame and wealth that male celebrities can so easily take what they want, including sexual gratification.
R. Kelly is a prime example of this phenomenon of using wealth and power to systematically abuse women without consequence— he’s been abusing Black girls and women for decades upon decades, and has only just been held responsible recently.
The need for justice never sleeps.
When you’ve been deeply violated by another person, you crave justice and for them to be held accountable for their actions.
That said, statistically, survivors rarely get the justice they deserve, mostly because our justice system and the public rarely believe them.
And when the perpetrator is one of power, riches, and fame? Well, justice is even LESS likely.
Look at R. Kelly — after 3 decades of proven sexual misconduct with minors (with sex tapes as evidence), plenty of accounts of Black girls and women being kidnapped and held hostage, and dozens upon dozens of victims stepping forward to claim they were abused by him, he only just got sent to jail on over 22 charges in March, pending a trial. Because of his wealth and fame, he is deemed as a high flight risk, and thus is not being allowed bail.
For decades, R. Kelly’s wealth, power and social influence have allowed him to continue to abuse Black girls and women — and nothing was ever done. He wasn’t held accountable for the longest time.
When we reflect on the case of rapist Brock Turner, we are even further deflated. He was caught by two witnesses directly in the act of sexually assaulting a young woman who was passed out, and he spent 3 months in jail. The judge didn’t want to ruin his promising future with a heavier sentence over only “20 minutes of action”.
That was one everyday person, violated by another everyday person, with two credible witnesses — and still, the justice system failed to uphold any real justice.
Now imagine stacking on top of that the fame and wealth that comes with a celebrity. And imagine just how impossible achieving justice would be for those survivors.
I was sexually assaulted by my ex-boyfriend. I never reported him, because I knew he would not be held accountable for his violation of me… I didn’t want to put myself through further trauma by pursuing a case, only for him to walk away scot-free.
I cannot imagine the bravery a human being must carry to step forward and point the finger at someone as famous and supported as Ansel Elgort, or Justin Bieber.
I am in absolute awe of these women.
And I believe them.
When I read Danielle and Kadi’s allegations, there was a detail that really struck a chord with me.
They both state that while the assault took place 5–6 years before, it did truly happen, and they had finally found the courage to speak up.
Many disbelieving users find this lapse in time highly suspicious. But for me, this lapse in time really hit home.
It took me, personally, 5 years following my sexual assault to finally speak my truth and tell my story publicly. I have yet to state his name, but I talk about my assault now. I didn’t have the courage to do so before the 5-year-mark.
Like many other survivors, I was too busy focusing on my healing (and sometimes active avoidance) of the event to even consider speaking about it publicly… I knew I was unlikely to be believed statistically, and didn’t have the energy after my violation to accuse my abuser of anything.
I just wanted to find peace and regain a high quality of life despite the trauma I was now forced to live with.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — there is no glory to gain in stepping forward to accuse someone of sexual assault.
There is no 15-minutes-of-fame for a victim when they put their deepest most horrible life’s violation on social media for the public to see, in hopes some justice can be served.
The only things to hopefully be gained are four-fold:
- To speak their truth for their own personal closure
- To let other survivors know they are not alone, and they are believed
- To get justice for the crimes committed against them
- And finally, for that abuser to never hurt another person the way they hurt the victim who has stepped forward.
I am a survivor of sexual assault.
I know what the crushing weight of carrying this trauma with you every single day feels like.
I wouldn’t wish this hell on even my worst enemy.
And I believe survivors who step forward.