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?
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?
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.”
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
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.”