Justin Bieber is getting support from other famous folks, including Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Charlie Sheen. | DANIEL ROLAND~AFP/Getty Images
Updated: December 18, 2011 5:20PM
Realizing Mariah Yeater’s case was a joke, her original San Diego-based legal team has dumped her and withdrawn her paternity suit against Justin Bieber.
While the pop star has denied fathering single mom Yeater’s baby son and has said he’d take a DNA test to prove it, I’ve learned Bieber’s lawyers are going to follow through on their countersuit against Yeater — looking to make an example of the young woman, who could have faced statutory rape charges if that child was proven to be Bieber’s.
“This is not about money,” said someone extremely close to the Bieber camp. “Clearly Mariah doesn’t have anything. It’s about getting a very public, widely televised apology — showing the world that people cannot subject celebrities to things like this simply because they are famous.”
Media-centric Chicago lawyer Jeffrey Leving is sticking with Yeater’s case, claiming she is facing death threats, and says she now is represented by Los Angeles attorney John Carlson. Leving indicated Wednesday he hopes some sort of settlement will be worked out between Yeater and Bieber outside of the courtroom.
From what I’m hearing, that’s a pipe dream — to say the least.
In the meantime, Bieber has been hearing from a slew of famous folks — including Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga, Madonna and Charlie Sheen — all congratulating him on sticking to his guns and encouraging him to pursue legal claims agains Yeater.
† In other paternity news, Laura Bellizzi told TMZ that “Mel Gibson is not the father of my child,” blasting various media outlets for being “100 percent dishonest” for claiming she had told friends the Oscar winner was the father of the baby.
GLOBE GAB: Ricky Gervais will be back for his third hosting gig on the Golden Globes when the awards show airs Jan. 15 — and from the sound of his Twitter message Wednesday, his edgy humor will be intact. The Brit comic tweeted, “Just told Billy Crystal he’d better not use any of my Holocaust or pedophile material at the Oscars. He agreed (true).”
ROYAL RUMBLINGS: The rumors have been flying for a while, and now InTouch Weekly adds more fuel to the gossip fires — quoting a source insisting Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William already are expecting their first child.
As is always the case with these tales, time will tell.
ACROSS THE YEARS: Here’s a fun twist on the “cougar” romance Ellen Barkin, 57, has pursued with 26-year-old filmmaker Sam Levinson. The actress, who produces and stars in Levinson’s “Another Happy Day,” actually made her movie debut in 1982 — in the groundbreaking “Diner” by Sam’s dad, Barry Levinson.
TAKE A BOW: Steppenwolf has made a great choice in picking Emmy-, Golden Globe- and SAG Award-winning actress Julianna Margulies as special guest of honor at the theater company’s third annual “Women in the Arts” fund-raising luncheon — scheduled for March 12 at the Chicago Cultural Center.
Margulies, who stars in the hit “The Good Wife” on CBS, will be interviewed about her career by Steppenwolf’s artistic director Martha Lavey.
† Kudos to Willis, Shirley and Chris Johnson, who celebrate the opening of their Classic Cinemas’ 100th screen with the launch of the 10th auditorium at the York Theatre in downtown Elmhurst. The Johnsons recently were honored with the Richard Driehaus Architectural Award, recognizing that half of the company’s 13 locations are historic venues that have been restored — dating back to the Tivoli Theatre in Downers Grove.
SPLITSVILLE SAGA: Ruben Studdard, arguably the least successful of all the “American Idol” winners, has apparently failed in the marriage department, too. The man known as the “Velvet Teddy Bear,” who won season two of “Idol” in 2003, has filed for divorce from wife of three years, Surata Zuri McCants .
SEEN ON THE SCENE: A very jovial Mayor Emanuel bounded Tuesday night into Chicago Cut — making for something of a White House week at the steakery after Emanuel’s presidential chief-of-staff successor Bill Daley was spied supping there the night before. … Rocker David Byrne stopped by the Musuem of Contemporary Art to catch the “Language of Less: Then and Now” exhibition Tuesday night. … Israel Idonije and Matt Spaeth were among those supporting their Bears teammate Robbie Gould at Rockit Bar & Grill for his “Monday Night Football” event, benefitting his charity the Goulden Touch.