Tacoma's reputation hit in apparent Bieber PR stunt

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by TRAVIS PITTMAN / KING 5 News

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 5:48 AM

It may have all been a hoax -- a PR stunt to promote a new music video-- but Justin Bieber’s tour manager is reportedly sticking to his story someone burglarized him and Biebs during a show in Tacoma Tuesday night.

Whether the theft was real or not, Tacoma’s reputation has taken a hit as a result.

Bieber posted on Twitter Wednesday -- the day after his concert at the Tacoma Dome -- he had been burglarized.

“yesterday during the show me and my tour manager josh had some stuff stolen. really sucks. people should respect other's property,” Bieber tweeted. “i had a lot of personal footage on that computer and camera and that is what bothers me the most."

Someone with the Twitter handle @gexwy tweeted out YouTube links of what was purportedly private videos of Bieber partying and hanging out with friends, with the insinuation being that it was footage stored on the stolen computer or camera. Gexwy then promised other, racier videos would come out at noon Eastern time Friday if his or her demands were not met.

Bieber tweeted back that he would not be intimidated.

“No matter what you have and what you post tomorrow i know my fans wont leave me. screw it,” he said.

The deadline arrived Friday, gexwy tweeted out the link as promised. It was a YouTube video of Bieber and Nicki Minaj in a new music video for their song “Beauty and A Beat.”The video is produced to look like Bieber was running a home video camera at a house party.

According to The Seattle Weekly, Bieber's tour manager Josh Williams insists a computer really was stolen from him in Tacoma and that the timing of the video's release was "making lemonade out of lemons."

Tacoma Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said an online report was filed by someone named Josh Williams Tuesday night. The report said: "I was working the Justin Bieber concert and my computer was stolen from my office sometime right before the concert ended. It was on my desk and when I returned about 15 minutes after the show was over it was gone."

If it's found that the police report was false, criminal charges could be filed.

Bieber seemed to admit to being in on the whole thing about the video's release, tweeting Friday "since i was 14 i have had a lot of things said about me, from dying, to taking hormones, to dying again, to stuff about my family... to saying i had a baby with a woman i never even met. nude pics, drugs, my family, my character...but today...today i get to be in on it..."

A hit on Tacoma's reputation

When the initial story of Biebs’ stolen stuff was posted on KING 5’s Facebook page Wednesday, many people voiced support for the heartthrob. But some voiced their skepticism that it was legitimate and others decided to take pot shots at Tacoma:

“Get ready for the ‘leaked videos’”

“Tacompton”

“Seriously how ghetto is that lol classy Tacoma”

“At least he got the real Tacoma experience right?”

“Other cities show celebrities a modicum of respect. T-town seizes upon the opportunity to steal anything that's not nailed down. Sure says a lot for the T-Dome security staff, as well as The Bieb's own security... I am not a fan. It's just disheartening to see Tacoma thrust once again in to the spotlight due to the actions of a resident cretin - although, surprisingly, not unexpected.”

Steve Gaydich, owner of Tacoma independent record store Rocket Records, was one of those not happy to hear of the possible publicity stunt Friday.

"Like he needs the publicity," Gaydich said, adding that he thinks Bieber should not be allowed to play in Tacoma again if it’s proven the theft was a hoax.

Gaydich said he doesn’t think the stunt will hurt Bieber’s sales in Tacoma, although he didn’t think he had any Bieber albums in his store.

"Maybe in the one dollar section," said Gaydich.

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