It seems the whole "stolen personal footage" scandal was just a silly promotional stunt for Bieber's "Beauty and a Beat" music video.
Here's how the whole sorry story breaks down:
Bieber claimed a couple of days back that he had a laptop and a camera stolen at a show, and tweeted about having "a lot of personal footage" on the "stolen" equipment. Thoughts immediately turned to sex tapes and other spicy possibilities.
A day goes by and an anonymous Twitter user named "gexwy" shows up and starts harassing Bieber, alleging to be the guy who stole his shit. He released two entirely innocuous videos of Justin Bieber to prove he was "legit," and promised to release the really scandalous stuff today at noon.
Justin Bieber himself somehow managed to local this nobody's tweets from the deluge of @'s he gets every second, and tweeted back: "No matter what you have and what you post tomorrow i know my fans wont leave me. screw it. #toostrong"
What could it be?! "TOMORROW PUNK!" replied gexwy before signing off.
So this is where it falls apart.
Fans of the Bieb noticed that, around the same time, Nicki Minaj also tweeted about a "BIG surprise" today at noon (as did Justin). And then a screencap from the music video for the Bieber-Minaj collaboration "Beauty and a Beat" suddenly showed up on VEVO (above). And Perez Hilton also dropped an "exclusive" about "scandalous footage" from Bieber's stolen gear that looks suspiciously set in a similar scene as the "Beauty and a Beat" video.
And Bieber is known to fancy himself as something of a punk.
Put all that together and you have one really lame marketing campaign.
Tisk, tisk Bieber. Next time you cry "stolen personal footage," have the decency to be naked.
UPDATE: As expected, here's the sad conclusion of Bieber's dumb "prank."
UPDATE 2: Bieber's tour manager shot off an angry email to Seattle Weekly, claiming the laptop theft story is still true, and this hoax was just "making lemonade out of lemons."
On Twitter, however, Bieber appears to be sticking to the gotcha line: "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..."
[image via ONTD]