Justin Bieber ‘Felt the Need to Defend’ Scooter Braun in Taylor Swift Feud but ‘Doesn’t Want It to Escalate’: Source

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Justin Bieber spoke out in defense of his longtime manager, Scooter Braun, after Taylor Swift accused him of «manipulative bullying»

Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun‘s ongoing drama has many of their fans and famous friends picking sides, including Justin Bieber.

The “Sorry” singer made it clear that he’s sticking by Braun — his longtime manager — when he issued a lengthy statement in defense of him on Instagram on Sunday after Swift accused him of “manipulative bullying” upon learning that he purchased her former record label, Big Machine Label Group, and ultimately, her master recordings. Now, there’s some insight into why Bieber decided to publicly weigh in — and open himself up to backlash.

Since Braun, 38, has supported Bieber, 25, throughout all of his ups and downs over the years — and particularly over the last several months as he took time off from music to focus on treating his mental health struggles including depression, anxiety and ADHD — Bieber “felt the need to defend” his “friend and mentor,” a source close to the star tells PEOPLE.

“[Scooter] has been very understanding and encouraging of Justin taking a break from making a new album and instead focusing on his mental health,” the source says. “Justin thinks Scooter has a big heart [and] thought Taylor’s bashing of Scooter was unfair.”

The source adds, though, that Bieber “doesn’t plan to make any more public statements defending Scooter.”

“He really just wants the whole thing to die down,” the source says. “It’s a small business, and he doesn’t want there to be hate.”

Upon learning that Braun had acquired Big Machine for $300 million on Sunday, Swift, 29, shared a Tumblr blog post expressing her disdain for Braun and claiming that he used Bieber and on-and-off client Kanye West to bully her on social media following her feud with the rapper over the lyrics of his song “Famous.”

“All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” Swift wrote. “Like when Kim Kardashian orchestrated an illegally recorded snippet of a phone call to be leaked and then Scooter got his two clients together to bully me online about it.”

Swift also shared a screenshot taken from Bieber’s Instagram account of an August 2016 post, in which he shared a FaceTime call between himself and Braun — who can be seen with West, whom Braun was not managing at the time of Bieber’s Instagram post. “Taylor swift what up,” Bieber captioned the post.

In response, Bieber wrote in the caption of a throwback photo of him and Swift on Instagram, “Hey Taylor. First of all I would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time I thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted [sic] of scooter and Kanye that said ‘taylor swift what up’ he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.”

This Article was originally written by People