Justin Bieber’s Ex-Choreographer Emma Portner Slams Him for 'Degrading Women' Amid Taylor Swift Feud
Justin Bieber’s former collaborator Emma Portner is speaking out against him.
Just a day after the “Sorry” singer shared a statement on Instagram in defense of his longtime manager, Scooter Braun, who Taylor Swift has accused of “manipulative bullying” in wake of him purchasing Big Machine Label Group and her master recordings, the dancer and choreographer — who worked on Bieber’s Purpose World Tour and stars in his 2015 “Life Is Worth Living” music video — shared her own message on Monday in which she alleged that she made “less than minimum wage” while working for Bieber, 25, and slammed the way he treats women by calling it an “abomination.”
In a now-expired Instagram Story (which was captured by Pop Crave on Twitter) tagging Bieber’s account, Portner, 24, wrote, “I regret working under your name. I gave your universe my naive body, creativity, time and effort. Twice. For content you made millions off of. While I made zilch. Natta [sic]. Barely anything. Less than minimum wage for the hours I invested.”
“I couldn’t afford to eat,” she continued. “I was sweeping studio floors to be able to practice my own craft. The way you degrade women is an abomination.”
Portner then went on to call out Bieber for collaborating with “overly problematic people.”
“You religiously go to a church that does not support the LGBTQ+ community,” she wrote, likely in reference to Bieber’s church, Hillsong. “Your company hired an out lesbian in your music video, and to choreograph some content for your purpose world tour. How do you feel about that? A lesbian, HELPING YOU, for a disrespectful amount of money, as you attend a church that goes against my existence?”
Portner’s wife, actress Ellen Page, previously called Hillsong “infamously anti lgbtq” in a tweet posted to her account in February. In 2015, Hillsong and its pastor Brian Houston came under fire for his stance on the gay community after he posted a lengthy blog post about the subject, in which he wrote, “Put clearly, we do not affirm a gay lifestyle and because of this we do not knowingly have actively gay people in positions of leadership, either paid or unpaid.”
The pastor also clarified that members of the LGBTQ community “are welcome to attend, worship with us, and participate as a congregation member with the assurance that you are personally included and accepted,” but outlined that they wouldn’t be able to hold positions of leadership within the church. For years, Bieber has attended Hillsong services and leaned on pastor Carl Lentz for support.
“I can only hope for your enlightenment,” Portner said in the message directed at Bieber. “That you read a ton of books. I will gladly purchase and send you some books that will change the way your traumatized brain thinks. You depend on proper guidance to move forward. I BEG that you find it. A straight white pastor/manager can’t be your only major source of world view.”
“I have so much to say but mostly … I really hope you educate yourself beyond your bible,” she added. “You have IMMENSE power. Use it to STOP DEGRADING WOMEN.”
Portner concluded her message by writing, “We should all be ‘checking on you’ and Chris Brown because you both need to be held accountable.”
A rep for Bieber did not immediately return a request for comment from PEOPLE.
While Portner didn’t specifically reference Swift in her Instagram posts, her harsh words came after Bieber defended Braun on social media. Though he apologized for his “hurtful instagram post,” the star questioned Swift’s motives for going public with her frustrations.
“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.! As the years have passed we haven’t crossed paths and gotten to communicate our differences, hurts or frustrations. So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on scooter isn’t fair,” he wrote. “What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog? seems to me like it was to get sympathy u also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully scooter.”
Throughout the past several months, Bieber has publicly shared his support of Brown despite the rape allegations that were made against the “With You” singer earlier this year. Most recently, Bieber posted a picture to Instagram in May of an equation that suggested that Michael Jackson “plus” iconic rapper Tupac Shakur “equaled” Brown, 29.
Bieber also seemingly referenced Brown’s assault of Rihanna in 2009 as a “mistake,” writing in the caption of the photo, “the people who have over looked this mans talent because of a mistake he made.. you need to reevaluate! Love you @chrisbrownofficial.”
In a separate slide shared to her Instagram Story, Portner wrote, “You can be grateful for opportunity AND still hold people accountable. You can be upset with your industry AND still want to be a part of it by encouraging change. You can be abused AND still have complex feelings towards your abuser(s). Dialectics will change your life. Get into the word ‘AND’ and continue down the path of releasing finite judgment. We are all eternally shape shifting.”
Like Portner, Cara Delevingne similarly blasted Bieber and his wife, Hailey Baldwin, for defending Braun.
“Gentleman,” Baldwin, 22, commented on her husband’s Sunday post, which featured a throwback image of Bieber and Swift, 29, and in part apologized for a “distasteful and insensitive” post he made in 2016, but also defended Braun’s character saying Swift’s takedown of him “isn’t fair.”
“Gentleman? @haileybieber @justinbieber you must be bored,” Delevingne, 26, commented on Bieber’s post. “I wish you spent less time sticking up for men and more time trying to understand women and respecting their valid reactions. As a married man, you should be lifting women up instead of tearing them down because you are threatened. I am not sure you actually understand what an apology is.”
“This issue that @taylorswift is talking out is about far more than a picture and you know that. As you said, you haven’t spoken to her in years which means you definitely don’t understand the situation. I do,” continued Delevingne, who starred in Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video in 2015. “Take a step back and try to learn from this. We should all be on the same team. End of story.”
Bieber’s post came shortly after Swift slammed Braun following his acquisition of her musical catalog via a $300 million sale that saw his Ithaca Holdings acquire Big Machine Label Group from founder, Scott Borchetta, who worked with Swift from 2006 until she left Big Machine for Universal Music Group late last year.
Swift expressed her disdain for Braun, 38, in a Tumblr blog post on Sunday, claiming that he used Bieber and on-and-off client Kanye West to bully her on social media following her feud with the 42-year-old rapper over the lyrics of his song “Famous.”
The “You Need to Calm Down” singer wrote that she had tried for years to own her own music from Big Machine, and was told that she could only do so if she signed a new contract that gave her ownership of one of her old albums for every new one she completed.
“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future,” she wrote. “I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”
Swift said learning that it was Braun who had ultimately purchased her masters from Borchetta was her “worst nightmare,” explaining, “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years. 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.”
“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” she wrote. “This is my worst case scenario. This is what happens when you sign a deal at 15 to someone for whom the term ‘loyalty’ is clearly just a contractual concept. And when that man says ‘Music has value,’ he means its value is beholden to men who had no part in creating it.”
Borchetta denied Swift’s bullying claims in a lengthy statement posted to his label’s website on Sunday, and he insisted that Braun has had nothing but the star’s best interest at heart.
“As to her comments about ‘being in tears or close to it’ anytime my new partner Scooter Braun’s name was brought up, I certainly never experienced that,” he said.
“Was I aware of some prior issues between Taylor and Justin Bieber? Yes. But there were also times where Taylor knew that I was close to Scooter and that Scooter was a very good source of information for upcoming album releases, tours, etc, and I’d reach out to him for information on our behalf,” Borchetta continued. “Scooter was never anything but positive about Taylor.
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