There appears to be yet another strange twist in the Justin Bieber weed-smoking controversy. After TMZ published photos of what it claimed were images of Justin smoking marijuana at a party, or in their own words, smoking “a smoldering blunt,” fans of the Canadian pop star began a campaign to exonerate him.
In an effort to clear Bieber’s name, a group of Beliebers have declared that the photos are not of Justin, but rather of a Belgian lookalike named Robin Verrecas.
Verrecas, an 18-year-old living in Oostkamp, Belgium, bears an uncanny resemblance to the “Beauty and the Beat” singer, and he doesn’t seem to mind it. A self-professed graphic artist, Verrecas currently has more than 48,000 Twitter followers and often posts photos of himself posing in Bieberesque outfits on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He also retweets messages comparing him to the star, in addition to frequently tweeting about Bieber and thanking him for having such “amazing” fans.
Like Bieber, Verrecas seems to favor fitted hats and track suits, a habit that has caused some fans to claim he’s trying too hard to copy the star. But while Verrecas doesn’t seem too upset over those claims, he did not seem to be prepared for the deluge of angry tweets Bieber fans aimed at him, after photos of their beloved performer surfaced showing him allegedly smoking weed.
After the photos were published, fans who already knew of Verrecas from his online presence began saying he was the person in the photos, and not Justin.
"That wasn't Justin smoking a joint, it was his lookalike, RobinVerrecas,” wrote user @intimatebieber.
“GUYS GUYS GUYS THE PERSON IN THE PICTURE IS ROBINVERRECAS. HE'S WITH THE SAME GIRL IN ANOTHER PIC. IM TELLING YOU,” chimed in @TheBieberFedora.
But in a series of frantic tweets to Bieber fans, Verrecas strongly denied that it was him in the photos. "i'm a belieber! so if it was me...why would i do this to justin? THINK!!?? i don't smoke," he wrote in one tweet, before adding, "the guy on that weed picture ISN'T me!! I SWEAR! @justinbieber please tell them the truth."