Updated: July 5, 2011 11:12AM
Justin Bieber is one of the biggest superstars on the planet, but a number of sources close to the musical phenom report Bieber’s diva-like behavior has been showcasing an ego as large as his worldwide popularity.
While the pop star’s outbursts — like when he blasted a BET Awards show official Sunday for refusing to admit a Bieber bodyguard — are regular occurrences, one Bieber buddy has another take on it all.
“Yes, Justin can get testy at times, but who wouldn’t considering he is hounded by the paparazzi and other media types 24/7. Remember, he’s just a kid and, I think, is extremely mature for someone his age,” the source said.
Another source on Team Bieber reveals the singer has a calming influence: his girlfriend, Selena Gomez.
“Maybe it’s because she ‘gets’ it, fully understands the whole fame thing because she deals with it herself,” said the Bieber defender. “But boy, she sure can make him laugh at the insanity of it all, and get him to relax and have fun.”
NOTHING ILLEGAL: Tobey Maguire’s lawyers have responded to a lawsuit filed against the “Spider-Man” star in connection with a bankruptcy case involving a claim that a now-jailed investment manager misappropriated funds to pay Maguire’s supposed $300,000 winnings in an illegal poker game.
Maguire’s filing categorically denies he has ever participated in “controlled games,” which require the host to have a license.
As first reported by TMZ, Maguire also denies he’s ever done anything illegal or attempted to defraud anyone, though he did admit to “being invited” to participate in the poker games in question.
TAKE A BOW: After all the bizarre Charlie Sheen news, it’s nice to report the actor’s class-act father, Martin Sheen, will be the honoree at the Chicago International Film Festival’s annual summer gala. The Aug. 19 fete at the AMC River East and Sheraton Chicago will feature the Chicago premiere of “The Way,” starring Sheen and directed by his far less controversial son, actor and director Emilio Estevez. The evening will include a special father and son conversation between Sheen and Estevez — plus a presentation of the festival’s career achievement award to the star of “The West Wing,” “The Departed” and “Apocalypse Now.”
† Meanwhile, that other Sheen son — the notorious Charlie — is said to have mixed feelings about his ex-wife, Denise Richards, adopting a new baby. While he’s happy for the actress, he reportedly has some concerns about less attention being paid to the former couple’s daughters, Sam and Lola.
ROMANCE FILE: A longtime friend of Jennifer Aniston tells me the actress’ pals “couldn’t be happier” about her fast-moving relationship with Justin Theroux. Along with all the obvious physical attraction stuff, the duo reportedly share two big interests: animals and interior design.
Aniston’s feelings really deepened thanks to Theroux’s sensitive support after she lost her beloved pooch, Norman — whose name she has had tattooed on her foot.
OFF SHORE: Notice to the “Jersey Shore” cast — A number of Florence, Italy, merchants are claiming the reality show stars “borrowed” clothing, shoes and gift items while in the Tuscan city, but now have left town with those bills unpaid.
CHANGING PLACES: NBC’s Chris Hansen, who long has fronted the “Dateline” feature “To Catch a Predator,” using hidden cameras to trap men seeking sexual connections with minors, allegedly has been caught himself doing something inappropriate by a hidden camera.
The National Enquirer is touting its “sting” of Hansen — supposedly secretly filming the married broadcaster in a tryst with a former NBC intern (now a Florida TV reporter), 20 years his junior.
Neither Hansen nor NBC has commented on the Enquirer story.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: Veteran actor Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future,” “Taxi”) was spied lunching outside at Gibsons on Rush, where Oscar nominee Michael Shannon dined Tuesday. . . .
Natalie Cole made the scene at Hugo’s Frog Bar. . . . The Bulls’ Jannero Pargo checked out LuxBar. . . . Yes, that was LeAnn Rimes lunching at Rosebud on Rush’s patio.
FUNNY STUFF: The iO comedy theater is launching “Next Week in Review,” a new monthly topical revue mirroring that groundbreaking British TV show from the ’60s, “That Was the Week That Was,” hosted by David Frost.
Considering the youth of iO’s core audience, the concept won’t be retro — but totally new — when it bows July 15 in the club’s Del Close Theater, 3541 N. Clark.