Chris Guerra, the photographer who was killed on New Year's Day when he was trying to take pictures of Bieber's Ferrari -- not in hot pursuit of the car, to be clear -- harassed and nearly stalked the pop singer during his time on Bieber assignment, sources said Thursday.
Apparently, Chris Guerra made Bieber's life hell. Bieber was, apparently, his only assignment at the agency that he free-lanced at.
Meanwhile, it's been said that Guerra had hoped he was onto a hot story, believing he had sighted Bieber smoking pot while driving. However, those same sources said Guerra lied about that, as well as other things he told a photographer friend about on the day of his death (that call is embedded, below).
As noted previously, while most thought Bieber and then-girlfriend Selena Gomez were in Mexico for the holiday, they reportedly broke up during the trip, after a blow-out fight, so both returned to the U.S. It was, therefore, possible Bieber was in Los Angeles at the time of the incident.
However, sources say multiple witnesses can verify that the only time Justin Bieber left the Four Seasons Hotel on New Year's Day was to go to Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood for lunch. There was never any pot in sight.
In addition, it was already known that Bieber was not the driver of the Ferrari, and was not even in it, when Guerra pursued it and was killed taking photos as it was halted for a routine CHP traffic stop.
Sources added that that paparazzo was lying -- though he could simply have been mistaken -- when he told the friend he saw a car belonging to Selena Gomez on the Four Seasons property. After their break-up, the couple has not seen each other, so Selena was definitely not around that day.
Finally, the sources say that because of the harassment, Bieber had "very little respect" for Chris Guerra. Despite that, Bieber issued the following statement after the incident:
While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim."
Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves.
The so-called "Justin Bieber paparazzi law," which was related to pursuit of celebrities for commercial gain, was struck down as unconstitutional last year.