On Saturday night, an anonymous account on Twitter issued a statement by a woman named 'Danielle' in which she accused pop star Justin Bieber of sexually assaulting her at a hotel in Austin, Texas, on March 9, 2014. After the Tweet gathered online attention, Bieber issued a statement on Twitter on Sunday night refuting the claim.

"I don't normally address things as I have dealt with random accusations my entire career but after talking with my wife and team I have decided to speak up on an issue tonight. Rumors are rumors but sexual abuse is something I don't take lightly. I wanted to speak out right away but out of respect to so many victims who deal with these issues daily I wanted to make sure I gathered the facts before I made any statement."
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"In the past 24 hours a new Twitter appeared that told a story of myself involved with sexual abuse on March 9, 2014 in Austin Texas at the Four seasons hotel. I want to be clear. There is no truth to this story. In fact as I will soon show I was never present at that location. As her story told I did surprise a crowd in Austin at SXSW where I appeared on stage with my then assistant side stage and sang a few songs. What this person did not know was that I attended that show with my then gf Selena Gomez."

The pop star then continues in further Tweets to post links to news articles, as well as social media photos and screenshots of emails and lodging receipts from that time period. According to the details mentioned in the documents, he did not stay at the Four Seasons, the location of the alleged incident, but spent the night of March 9, 2014, at an Airbnb and March 10, 2014, at the Westin.

Since the time of Bieber's response, the anonymous account carrying the accusation has been removed from Twitter. The response to the original accusation and Beiber's statement has been mixed. While some fans have vowed their support no matter what accusations are thrown at the pop star, others are advocating for believing Danielle's story and demanding the police investigate the matter. For his part, Bieber ended his Twitter messages by expressing support for victims of sexual abuse, but maintaining his innocence in the matter.

"Every claim of sexual abuse should be taken very seriously and this is why my response was needed. However this story is factually impossible and that is why I will be working with twitter and authorities to take legal action."

It remains to be seen how the issue will be resolved in the coming days. The fact that the original account carrying the accusation was deleted and proof from Beiber's receipts will serve to bolster the belief that Danielle's statement is false. On the other hand, someone who is as much in the public's eye as Justin Bieber is unlikely to find the latest controversy surrounding him laid to rest any time soon.

Neeraj Chand