Pop superstar Taylor Swift has attacked Justin Bieber’s manager for buying her music catalogue, prompting Bieber to come to his defence in a heated online spat that has drawn in several top figures in the music industry.

Swift on Sunday wrote a lengthy post on Tumblr voicing dismay that Scooter Braun, the manager for Bieber as well as Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato, was acquiring Big Machine, the Nashville-based record company that owns the master recordings of her past songs.

“This is my worst case scenario,” the “Shake It Off” singer wrote, and accused Braun of “incessant, manipulative bullying.”

Swift said Braun “got two of his clients to bully me online” about a 2016 tiff with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and referred to a photo of Braun and Bieber.

“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy,” Swift wrote, signing the post “sad and grossed out.”

A representative for Braun, who owns the company Ithaca Holdings, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ithaca Holdings LLC on Sunday announced it was acquiring the Big Machine Label Group. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Swift, 29, signed with Big Machine at age 15 and left last November for Universal Music Group, a unit of French conglomerate Vivendi. She is releasing her first album with UMG in August.

Big Machine Label Group founder Scott Borchetta wrote on the company’s blog that Swift had been offered a deal in which “100 percent of all Taylor Swift assets were to be transferred to her immediately upon signing the new agreement.”

He posted excerpts from the proposed deal as well as friendly text messages that he said were between himself and Swift under the headline: “So, It’s Time for Some Truth.”

On Instagram, Bieber apologised for being “hurtful” to Swift in the past but said Braun “didn’t have anything to do with it.”

“Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open for you!” Bieber wrote. “So for you to take it to social media and get people to hate on social media isn’t fair.”

Bieber proposed that the three talk it out privately.

“Banter back and forth online I don’t believe solves anything,” he said.

Hey Taylor. First of all i would like to apologize for posting that hurtful instagram post, at the time i thought it was funny but looking back it was distasteful and insensitive.. I have to be honest though it was my caption and post that I screenshoted of scooter and Kanye that said “taylor swift what up” he didnt have anything to do with it and it wasnt even a part of the conversation in all actuality he was the person who told me not to joke like that.. 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. 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. Anyway, One thing i know is both scooter and i love you. I feel like the only way to resolve conflict is through communication. So banter back and fourth online i dont believe solves anything. I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed. Neither scooter or i have anything negative to say about you we truly want the best for you. I usually don’t rebuttal things like this but when you try and deface someone i loves character thats crossing a line..

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on Jun 30, 2019 at 2:54pm PDT

Singers Halsey and Cher expressed support for Swift in online posts, while Lovato came to Braun’s defence.

“I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them,” Lovato wrote on Instagram.

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