Justin Bieber’s 18-month run of bad behaviour and legal trouble was far worse than fans realised, according to the singer’s longtime manager and mentor Scooter Braun.
In 2013, Bieber was caught on film relieving himself in a janitor’s bucket in a restaurant kitchen and the following year (14), he was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI).
He later pleaded guilty to misdemeanour careless driving and resisting arrest without violence, and was forced to take anger management classes and make a $50,000 (GBP37,280) donation to charity. He was also fined for property damage after throwing eggs at a neighbour’s home in 2014.
“It (Justin’s problem) was worse than people realised,” Scooter tells the Wall Street Journal Magazine, adding that he accepts some blame for the Sorry singer’s downward spiral.
“I failed him day after day,” Braun, who met Bieber when the Canadian was 13 and considers him family, admits. “We were living in hell because he was in such a dark place.”
It was so dark that music industry colleagues and friends told Braun Justin was “a lost cause” and he should “focus on something else”.
But he never thought about taking their advice because of a promise he made to a teenage Bieber, that he “would never give up on him”.
Justin’s troubles severely impacted the pair’s professional and personal relationship, and Scooter was so desperate to fix things he even attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in an effort to understand his client.
“When the time came and Justin needed the resources to get back on track, I wanted to make sure I was a rock and someone he could turn to,” Braun explains.
Now that everything is back to normal, Scooter couldn’t be more proud of the work Justin has done to better himself: “He’s become a man,” Braun notes. “I think he’s seen the worst of himself, and to watch him rise out of it was amazing.”