They’ve been to hell and back.
Though Justin Bieber appears to be in better shape now — despite cancelling the rest of his world tour in July to focus on his “soul and well-being,” his longtime manager Scooter Braun said at the time — just a few years ago, the pop star was in a far darker place, Scooter admits.
“It was worse than people realized,” Scooter told WSJ. Magazine’s Style & Tech Issue in a story published on Sept. 28 (via E! News and Page Six), referring to the Biebs’ downward spiral in 2013 and 2014.
“I failed him day after day. We were living in hell because he was in such a dark place,” Scooter, 36, said.
The pop star was making headlines for all the wrong reasons: In 2013, Justin — now 23 — abandoned his pet monkey in Germany, was videotaped urinating in a janitor’s mop bucket and allegedly visited a brothel in Brazil — where he was also charged with defacing a building with graffiti and videotaped sleeping by a woman who was later identified as a prostitute.
The bad behavior escalated in 2014 when Justin egged his neighbor’s home (he was later ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution for the damages) and spent a night in jail after being arrested in South Florida on DUI and other charges and admitting, cops said, to using drugs. Meanwhile, he was poorly dealing with a roller coaster on-and-off relationship with Selena Gomez.
“I have inconveniences, and other people have problems. Mine feel important, but they’re not. They’re not life or death,” Scooter explained. “Justin’s stuff got to a point where it was a problem.”
Scooter said he started going to Al-Anon meetings so he could help support his client and friend.
“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,” Scooter explained.
But if other people had their way, Scooter — who also manages Ariana Grande and Dutch DJ Martin Garrix — would have bailed when things got bad.
“Some of the biggest people in the industry, people invested in Justin’s career, told me, ‘It’s over. Focus on something else. That kid is done,'” Scooter told WSJ. Magazine. But he refused. “I made a promise to him when he was 13 that I would never give up on him. I plan on keeping that promise.”
He has. Though Justin is still famous for his bad behavior, things have certainly improved. “He’s family. I think the relationship is more like a big brother, especially because he’s become a man,” Scooter said.
“I think he’s seen the worst of himself, and to watch him rise out of it was amazing.”