Justin Bieber’s publicist says stolen laptop tweet not a hoax

Pop star Justin Bieber's laptop appears to have actually been stolen during a show in Washington state – with his publicist refuting rumours that the news was a hoax to hype his latest music video.

Bieber tweeted to his 29 million followers that he and his tour manager were targeted during the show Tuesday night at the Tacoma Dome.

However, questions were raised on Friday about the authenticity of Bieber's claim.

Another Twitter user alluded to having the laptop and footage of the pop star. The account, though, linked to Bieber's new music video, which starts with text saying personal footage was stolen and uploaded "illegally."

That prompted suspicions the supposed theft was a hoax meant to hype the new music video, which was released Friday. But Bieber's publicist Melissa Victor says the theft report is true.

"Be very clear, the laptop was indeed stolen in Tacoma. That was NOT a hoax," Victor wrote in an email to the Associated Press.

She did not immediately reply to questions about the release of the music video or whether the Twitter account claiming to have footage of the pop star was connected to publicity.

Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said a report was filed online on Wednesday, but he doesn't foresee police officers spending much time investigating.

"A lot of people got played," Fulghum said. "It became a big media frenzy, so I guess that was the idea."