Justin Bieber released his new music video, "Beauty and a Beat" on Friday, two days after he Tweeted about a stolen laptop and also after candid footage of the pop star was posted online.
The series of events spurred online speculation that the singer, who has almost 29 million followers on Twitter and hosts MTV's reboot of the prank show "Punk'd," had pulled a fast one on his fans.
However, Bieber's publicist Melissa Victor told the Associated Press that it was not a hoax and the laptop was indeed stolen. The news wire also quoted a spokesman in Tacoma, Washington, where the alleged theft took place, that a report was filed but that he does not forsee spending much time investigating the matter.
It all began on Wednesday, when the 18-year-old pop star, Tweeted: "Yesterday during the show me and my tour manager josh had some stuff stolen," Bieber Tweeted. Really sucks. people should respect other's property. I had a lot of personal footage on that computer and camera and that is what bothers me the most. #lame #norespect."
Then, a mysterious Twitter user, gexwy, began posting candid clips of Bieber pranking a man by dumping protein powder on his head and looking out from backstage at screaming fans. The person also exchanged Tweets with the pop star.
On Thursday, one message said: "TOMORROW. u've been warned. should of listened @justinbieber," along with a link to a story by popular gossip blogger Perez Hilton that contained what appeared to be a video showing Bieber splashing around in a pool with girls - none of whom are his girlfriend, singer Selena Gomez.
Also, in what may have been an unrelated incident, a naked photo of a young man with his face hidden popped up online, although Bieber fans speculated it was not the singer because he did not sport his tattoos.
On Friday, Bieber Tweeted: "Since i was 14 i have had a lot of things said about me, from dying, to taking hormones, to dying again, to stuff about my family... to saying i had a baby with a woman i never even met. nude pics, drugs, my family, my character...but today...today i get to be in on it..."
He AND "gexwy" then posted links to his new music video - "Beauty and a Beat," featuring hip hop star Nicki Minaj.
The video begins with a message that reads: "In October of 2012 three hours of personal footage was stolen from musician Justin Bieber. The following footage was illegally uploaded by an anonymous blogger."
Candid shots similar to the "leaked" clips are played and then Bieber is seen walking through a crowded pool party and appears as though he is holding the camera himself. Scantly-clad female dancers and synchronized swimmers in bikinis are shown as Bieber makes his way through.
Minaj, known for her wild outfits, dons a pink ballerina outfit with fuzzy pom poms on her chest in the dizzying video and grinds with Bieber briefly before the singer takes off and is seen dancing, sliding down a water slide and splashing around with a camera.