What are the stakes in Justin Bieber's ongoing Egg-Gate? Could he go to jail? Get kicked out of his private gated community?
How about deported? According to the most recent data on music's reigning brat king, Bieber is still a Canadian. As in, not a U.S. citizen. As in, eligible for deportation if the law finds him undesirable enough, criminal defense attorneys say.
First, of course, authorities need to sort out what, egg-sactly, has been going on at Bieber's $6.5 million Calabasas home, which sits in a community called The Oaks and counts Kourtney Kardashian and Keyshawn Johnson among its residents. So far, all we know is that a neighbor has accused Bieber of egging his mansion; (b) the cops have raided Bieber's home in connection with said alleged egging; (d) Bieber has been "very cooperative" with investigators; (c) Bieber's friend Xavier "Lil Za" Smith was subsequently arrested not once but twice over the next several hours, once on suspicion of possessing illegal drugs and then again in jail for allegedly vandalizing a phone.
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What we don't know yet: Whether Bieber actually egged anything, or will be arrested or charged with any flying protein-related offenses.
"Detectives will package all the evidence and present it to a D.A. in the next few days," defense attorney attorney Stanley L. Friedman, who is not involved in the case, tells me. "Given the star quality of the possible egg thrower, the decision whether to prosecute will be made at a very high level."
It should be noted that Bieber's neighbor alleges that the egging caused five figures worth of damage to his house (in excess of $20,000, according to the L.A. County Sheriff's Department), a number that would trigger a felony charge if it, um, stuck.
"Bieber is very likely to be in real trouble," Friedman explains. If Bieber's security-camera footage confirms his neighbors accusations, then, "this was more than good-natured horseplay."
"If convicted of felony vandalism, Bieber could be sentenced to three years in state prison. Also, if Bieber threw eggs at his neighbor, then he could also face assault charges."
And then there are the possible drugs. Initial reports suggested Za was caught with cocaine, but that was later amended to possibly Xanax and Ecstasy, or some super-elite drug available only to people who live behind the gates at the Oaks. (Lab results are still pending.)
"If Bieber had access to the part of his house where police found drugs, then Bieber could be charged with the possession of the drugs," even if he never even touched them, Friedman explains.
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Even worse, Bieber's current reputation is likely to affect his chances.
"In deciding whether to file charges, the D.A. might consider Bieber's bad-boy image," Friedman says. "This bad-boy image would show a need to be taught a lesson."
And get this: If charged, Bieber may not even be allowed to go home.
"As a condition of bail, Bieber may be ordered to stay a certain number of feet away from his neighbor and his neighbor's house," Friedman notes. "This could prevent him from living in his mansion."
And a conviction could mean deportation, given that Bieber is Canadian, not American.
All that said, there is one piece of good news: Bieber's neighbors can't kick him out on their own. The Oaks homeowners association can be pretty strict; residents can be fined $1,500 a month for, say, refusing to get their landscaping approved by the community. But even the mighty Oaks can't force a resident out completely — at least, not for anything related to eggs.
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Leslie Gornstein is an entertainment writer and the host of the weekly Hollywood gossip podcast The Fame Fatale.
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