Should Justin Bieber Sue Mariah Yeater Over Paternity Suit? Legal Expert Answers!
Natch, we turned to a legal expert to answer all those looming questions; should he counter sue? Could she name another celebrity as the father? Is it possible she was paid off for the story to go away?
We turned to “Rising Star” award-winner Matthew P. Krupnick, Esq., from Krupnick and Krupnick (www.greatLAlawyers.com) to get the answers!
20-year-old Mariah Yeater claimed 17-year-old Justin Bieber was the father of her baby; then she dropped the paternity suit. What ramifications could come of this?
If Ms. Yeater was over 18 and Justin was under 18, then there is a potential issue of statutory rape charges. That is a criminal matter, however. With regards to his rights in Civil Court, he has potential claims for defamation of character, slander, libel, intentional infliction of emotional distress, extortion, etc..
Now that she’s dropped the suit, does she have any legal rights to pursue Justin?
Possibly. There was a reason she dropped her suit in the first place, and whatever reason that was, in my opinion, would probably not change enough or in a way that would make it advisable to bring the suit again. However, if a paternity test establishes that Justin IS in fact the father, then regardless of the potential criminal issues, or the fact that she has dropped any other suit, she will likely be able to pursue claims for child support against Justin as well as disputes over custody rights.
Can she now claim another man is the father?
Yes. If Justin is not the father, then clearly someone else is. That person will now have to deal with Ms. Yeater and his obligations as the father.
Is it possible she was paid off to drop the suit?
There could be many reasons for dropping the suit. The fact that he is a minor, the fact that he is apparently so willing to take a paternity test, or the fact that a lawsuit against a celebrity could be very costly and result in counterclaims where she could wind up owing huge sums of money are all possible reasons. At this point, at least based on what I have seen, it is all mere speculation.
If she was paid off, can you give us an idea of the general terms of these types of deals?
CONFIDENTIALITY! That is generally the main concern of the celebrity involved in an accusation or claim like this, and sometimes even the person making the claim as well. Typically, the confidentiality agreement is so strong that if it is broken, the ramifications can be financially devastating.
UPDATE: Although she dropped the lawsuit, Yeater has apparently hired new lawyers who are “negotiating with Bieber’s counsel, to reach a confidentiality agreement and to get private testing and results,” one of her new lawyers, Chicago-based attorney Jeffrey M. Leving, tells People.