Justin Bieber drink-spiking claims: Why do we always doubt the pretty girl?

We know drink-spiking happens. We know celebrities sometimes abuse their power. So why are we so quick to doubt this Melbourne woman?

A teenage girl goes to a party hosted by a rich, older man who’s previously been accused of assault, vandalism, drink-driving and even urinating in a bucket at a restaurant (what a guy).

After just a couple of drinks, the young woman’s vision becomes blurred and she collapses on the floor, incoherent and confused. The older man’s entourage are around, and she begins to feel scared.

She yells that she needs an ambulance, and later tells hospital workers she believes her drink was spiked.

So do you believe her?

‘A teenage girl goes to a party hosted by a rich, older man who’s previously been in trouble with the law. She says her drink is spiked. So why are we so quick to doubt her?’

Based on those facts, you probably do.

But what if I told you the rich older man was international pop star Justin Bieber, and the young woman was an aspiring model?

What if I told you she had her lingerie brand and a YouTube channel to promote?

What if I told you her Instagram selfies looked like this?

Bailey Scarlett on Instagram.

Those facts shouldn’t matter. Models and YouTube stars and lingerie brand owners can be vulnerable to criminal acts, of course. All women are.

But in the court of public opinion, the model — 18-year-old New Zealand national and Melbourne resident Bailey Scarlett — has already been discredited.

Showcase PR specialist Alex McDonell, who organised the event, told AAP Ms Scarlett was seeking publicity.

“I would be very surprised if she’s not getting money out of all this stuff,” he said. “I guess she’s just trying to get her few minutes of fame.”

Scarlett in one of her lingerie poses on Instagram.

An army of ‘Beliebers’ have also published vile online attacks on Ms Scarlett.

“This is so ridiculous. She’s f**king pathetic,” tweeted hardcore Bieber fan @nz_belieber.

“100% famewhore,” wrote @JustinB_genius.

“What bitch has the nerve to spread false accusations about my baby,” @Justinsslaying weighed in.

“Does Bailey scarlet [sic] have a twitter, I want to bully her,” @biebusbutera tweeted.

Other commenters, including Mamamia readers, have taken to Twitter and Facebook to air their doubts about Ms Scarlett’s motivations.

As if she’s not trying to promote her ‘modeling’ career,” Jodie Skerke-Holmes suggested on Facebook.

She probably just boned someone and feels bad so she made up some bs story so her boyfriend wouldn’t find out she’s easy,” Josie Bartel posted.

Another Twitter user wrote: “she wanted overnight popularity. Crocodile tears#stayhome.”


“No proof, just her and her boyfriend trying to get five minutes of fame,” @SJaundrell tweeted.

Scarlett on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Ms Scarlett appeared on Channel Nine’s A Current Affair to tell her story, insisting the experience had left her scared, vulnerable and “convulsing”.

“I strongly believe that I have two feet to stand on and I can honestly say I’m 99.99% sure that there was something in my drink,” the clearly emotional young woman said in the Tuesday night episode.

“I wouldn’t put so much on the line and my name thrown across the mud… I am saying what I remember because I remember it.”

Ms Scarlett, who burst into tears on the show, has now deleted her Facebook account following the torrent of online abuse directed at her.

Scarlett broke down in her A Current Affair interview. (Screenshot: Nine)

There are various reasons you might doubt Ms Scarlett’s version of events from the Sunday night event. The fact she went to A Current Affair with her story before filing an official report with the police, for example, or her curious claim that two hospitals denied her a drug test that could confirm the drink-spiking.

Others have questioned whether Ms Scarlett could really remember any details of the night, had her drink truly been spiked.

But many of her critics are not focused on those factors. Instead, they point — again and again and again — to the fact that she is a model with a public image to promote.

They suggest she is attention-seeking.

They suggest that she is “easy” and is probably trying to cover her tracks for hooking up with someone at that party.

They even suggest that she shouldn’t have been at the party anyway, since she has a boyfriend.

Scarlett with a friend. (Photo: Instagram)

But here’s the thing: Drink spiking is a crime against women that does happen. We know it happens.

We also know that some celebrities — or the people in their circles — abuse their power; if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the rash of celebrity assault scandals revealed over the past year, it’s that.

And if Ms Scarlett’s drink was spiked, then arguing that “of course she made it up” based on her clothing or appearance is a direct, inexcusable and typical example of victim-blaming.

Scarlett and her boyfriend on Instagram.

We don’t know the truth about what happened at Bieber’s recording studio party on Sunday night, and neither do you. Those details are for authorities to investigate and determine.

But there’s a few things we do know: Crimes against women are under-reported. Women who are victims of crime are all too often discredited, dismissed and attacked based on their appearance, clothing or job. Victim-blaming only discourages other survivors of crime to tell their story.

And calling Ms Scarlett a “liar” can do very little good, but a whole lot of harm.