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October 28, 2010 4:05 PM

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IMing With Justin Bieber on a Friday Night

"How do you know it was really him?" I've been asked this question countless times in the last week following my interview with the tween heartthrob Justin Bieber, conducted over Instant Messenger. ...

"How do you know it was really him?" I've been asked this question countless times in the last week following my interview with the tween heartthrob Justin Bieber, conducted over Instant Messenger.  Yes, of course the pop idol (or more likely his publicist) could have pulled one over on me. But, I'm a "Belieber" that I was IMing with the 16-year-old before his concert last Friday evening given the amount of wrangling involved to make the interview happen. I was told the music mogul "L.A." Reid, chairman of Island Def Jam Music Group, even "made a call" to encourage the Bieb to do the interview -- his first since the rumors swirled that the singer had a confrontation with another boy during a Laser Tag game the week before. I was told not to ask about the Laser Tag controversy, which was fine considering I hadn't heard about it until a public relations executive told me not to mention it. I had been too busy watching Bieber music videos online, sifting through his tweets and signing up for an AIM account, and regretting that I suggested an IM interview in the first place (I'm technologically challenged).


Plus, the pop queen Britney Spears believes it was Bieber. After he told WWD he finds Spears' scents alluring on girls, she tweeted, "Awwww! Thanks @justinbieber! So glad you like my perfume on the ladies."


I was assured Bieber would IM me Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, as he was in Sacramento, Calif., on one of the many stops for his My World concert tour. At 9 p.m. I got a call from Michael Ferrara of Etoile Nation Beauty, the fragrance firm that signed the deal with Bieber, giving him, his manager Scooter Braun (who is 28 years old by the way) and Universal Music Group, which owns Bieber's record label Island Records, a share in the new venture.
"Justin and Scooter are in a meeting and are running 30 minutes late." Sure enough at 9:30 p.m., I get an IM from Bieber's publicist: "Just a few minutes more." And then from his manager's username (I'm sworn to secrecy), which Bieber would be using: "Hi."


We get to chatting (I'm terrified that since he is a teenager he is going to run circles around me on IM), and several questions later he says, "Umm, what is your name....Sorry, this is just weird without knowing your name....It's kind of creepy."


He admits no one prepped him for the interview, typing, "Scooter was just like, 'Get on my iChat and talk about this'...lol...all good."


I tell him my name and assure him that I'm not a crazed 15-year-old fan. He responds, "At least you aren't a dude. Be weird if you were some creepy old guy." Hmm...sounds authentically 16 years old to me.


We chat for 20 minutes before it's time for Bieber to sign off.

 
The next morning I check his Twitter page and am reassured that, yes, I was in fact chatting with Bieber. He tweeted, "I'm doing an interview with this lady over the computer. Kinda weird. But, she is cool."
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