Justin Bieber has defended his manager, Scooter Braun, after Taylor Swift accused the music mogul of “incessant, manipulative bullying”.
It comes after Braun’s Ithaca Holdings announced it was acquiring Big Machine Label Group, the label Swift, 29, was previously signed to, giving him ownership of her back catalogue.
Responding to the news, Swift posted a lengthy message on social media saying she was “sad and grossed out” to see her work in the hands of a man who she claimed had bullied her “for years”.
Her post included a screen grab of an old social media post showing Bieber, Braun and Kanye West – who she has famously had a long-standing feud with – with the caption: “Taylor Swift what up”.
The singer said it was an example of Braun “bullying me on social media when I was at my lowest point”.
Now, Bieber has waded into the row, posting an old photograph of himself and Swift on Instagram alongside a defence of Braun.
“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you!” he wrote. “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 u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter.”
Bieber said that both he and Braun “loved Swift” and that he felt communication was the only way to “resolve conflict”.
He said that “banter back and forth online i don’t believe solves anything” and that the three should talk to “resolve any conflict, pain or any feelings that need to be addressed”.
He finished by saying: “Neither Scooter or I have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone I loves character that’s crossing a line.”
Singers Demi Lovato and Sia have also joined Bieber in defending Braun, with Lovato saying on her Instagram stories that he is a good man.
She wrote: “I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them. He’s a good man. Personally, I’m grateful he came into my life when he did. Please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as it is.”
Sia said: “You’re a good kind man @scooterbraun I hope this passes quickly. I love you keep going.”
Other stars have spoken out in support of Swift.
Model Cara Delevingne responded to Bieber’s post with the comment: “As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened. I am not sure you actually understand what an apology is.”
Rapper Iggy Azalea said on Twitter: “Telling someone about a deal days before it’s public means the deal was already done & she never had the opportunity to even make a bid to own her own work.”
Braun, who also manages Ariana Grande, has not responded to Swift’s post. However, his wife, Yael Cohen, has defended her husband on social media, saying he is “anything but a bully”.
Swift left the Big Machine label and signed with Universal Music Group in November, and releases he next album, Lover, in August.