One of two women sued by Justin Bieber for defamation after they accused him in social media posts of sexual assault could face a default judgment if she does not start participating in the suit, a judge warned Tuesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green also acknowledged that he was not very familiar with the “Prince of Pop,” who brought the case in June 2020 against Khadidja Djibrine Khadi, who appeared before him Tuesday, and one other woman who thus far has been identified only as Danielle.
“I’m told he’s a movie star or something,” Green said. “I couldn’t pick him out of a lineup.”
The judge repeated his previous advice to Khadi to hire a lawyer to defend her in the case, saying Bieber was represented by an “outstanding law firm” in Lavely & Singer.
“It’s not a fair fight,” Green said.
Khadi was served with the suit in May and has yet to file an answer. She said she has tried hiring an attorney and that money is not a problem because she is from an influential family in Chad. She said none of the lawyers she has contacted want to take on a case in which Bieber is the party on the other side. She also said the coronavirus has impeded her ability to get representation.
Khadi’s explanation surprised Green, who said he believed many lawyers would “crave” the chance to work on such a case.
“They’d love the notoriety if nothing else,” Green said. “I don’t think he instills fear in people.”
Green, taking into consideration that Khadi is six months pregnant, set another status conference for Dec. 7. He previously set a final status conference and trial for April 18 and May 2, respectively, next year.
Bieber’s attorney, Evan Spiegel, filed court papers to begin the default process on July 21. He said that Khadi admitted she never met Bieber and he called her allegations a “fabrication,” saying she just wanted to be famous.
Khadi responded that her ability to speak English was not good at the time and that she was mistaken in some of the things she said.
“I have met him and I can show it to you,” she told the judge.
Spiegel said attempts will be made to serve the defendant known as Danielle online through social media.
Khadi declined to comment outside the courtroom after the hearing. She alleged in a tweet that Bieber sexually assaulted her in a New York hotel in May 2015.
Danielle claimed she was assaulted by the 27-year-old Canadian singer at a hotel in Austin, Texas, in March 2014. She maintains that after a surprise performance in front of a crowd at a bar, Bieber invited her and two friends to a hotel, where she alleges he took her to a private room and attacked her.
Bieber’s lawyers maintain both claims can be disproved through eyewitnesses who knew where Bieber was on those days and by photo images obtained by paparazzi.
Bieber has been married to 24-year-old model Hailey Baldwin since 2018.