Report: Justin Bieber Racist Joke Video Named in Extortion Plot

Unidentified man wanted $1 million from the singer in exchange for keeping the footage out of the media.

Posted: 06/04/2014 10:43 AM EDT

The five-year-old video of Justin Bieber telling a racist joke was at the center of a failed extortion attempt, reports TMZ. Sources tell the site that Bieber's people were approached two months ago about paying for the tape of the pop star, who was 15 years old when the video was recorded.

A lawyer for the man selling the footage wanted $1 million to keep the recording out of the media. The "Confident" singer's people apparently wouldn't budge on a financial agreement, so the lawyer dropped the price to $800,000 and finally $500,000.

Still, Bieber's people didn't take the bait. The lawyer was told that he wasn't "even in the ballpark" of an agreeable amount, and the video came out a week later.

The unidentified man reportedly stole the video from Bieber's hard drive. It is unclear how he gained access to the 20-year-old's computer.

Bieber has since apologized for uttering the racial slur and for "offending or hurting anyone" with his "childish," "inexcusable mistake." Friends like Soulja Boy, the Migos, and Floyd Mayweather have also all defended the Biebs, but their work may not be enough to wipe the slate clean. According to UK's The Sun, there's a new 24-second clip of Bieber joking about joining the KKK, and replacing the lyrics to his 2009 single "One Less Lonely Girl" with the n-word.

He has yet to comment on that alleged tape.

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