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Lawsuit dropped, but Bieber baby claim lingers

Canadian singer Bieber arrives on the red carpet for the 63rd Bambi media awards ceremony in Wiesbaden
Canadian singer Bieber arrives on the red carpet for the 63rd Bambi media awards ceremony in Wiesbaden

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The woman who claimed teen singer Justin Bieber fathered a baby with her has dropped her paternity lawsuit, but Mariah Yeater's lawyer said on Wednesday she is pursuing her claim out of court.

Yeater, 20, of southern California, had claimed in her lawsuit that she had sex backstage with the 17-year-old Canadian singer last year and that he was the father of her baby who was born in July. She was demanding child support.

Bieber has repeatedly denied the allegation, saying he never met Yeater but said last week he would take a paternity test. Sources close to Bieber said on Wednesday that arrangements were underway for the DNA test to take place soon.

Chicago attorney Jeffery Leving said on Wednesday that Yeater had dropped the lawsuit but had a new legal team and hoped to reach a private settlement with Bieber's lawyers.

"She believes Justin Bieber is the father," Leving told Chicago TV channel WGNtv on Wednesday. "Negotiations are going on right now with Bieber's counsel and we're trying to negotiate a private, secure DNA test with the same safeguards that would exist if there were a court order, but without a court order."

"This matter is not over," Leving said.

It was not clear why the paternity lawsuit was dropped but Leving said Yeater had received death threats and was being harassed by the media.

Bieber's spokesman Matthew Hiltzik called it "sad" that "someone would fabricate such a malicious, defamatory, and demonstrably false claim. We'll continue to consider all of our options to protect Justin."

The baby claims have threatened to tarnish Bieber's squeaky clean image and left Yeater open to a possible charge of statutory rape because Bieber was only 16 years-old at the time of the alleged encounter.

In her complaint, Yeater claimed the two had sex for 30 seconds in a backstage bathroom after she attended a Bieber concert in Los Angeles in October 2010.

Bieber, has been promoting his new Christmas album in Europe, was silent on Twitter on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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