Justin Bieber says he gets upset by the perception that he’s “a bad person,” but the pop star acknowledges that he’s not perfect.
“I’m young and I make mistakes. That’s part of growing up,” the “Baby” singer said in an exclusive interview with Us Weekly magazine. “I mess up sometimes. It’s part of growing up.”
Bieber has received lots of negative press recently, and in the interview that appeared on the magazine’s website on Wednesday he addressed the criticism he’s received for, among other things, starting a concert on his European tour two hours late, going on a Twitter rant to push back against detractors, lashing out at a paparazzo and repeatedly appearing shirtless in public.
Bieber and his entourage were asked to leave a club where he’d planned to celebrate his 19th birthday. Questions were raised about his health when he fainted during a concert in London earlier this month, and tongues wagged when he was photographed wearing a gas mask later that week.
“He did admit to me that he does make mistakes,” said Ian Drew, entertainment director for Us Weekly. “But he says, ‘I’m 19. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do when you’re 19?’”
In the interview, Bieber said he passed out because he had the flu, and explained away the gas mask as “a joke with my friends” that grew out of a desire to hide his face from cameras.
He explained one of his shirtless public appearances by saying he was rushing into his hotel and still had part of his tour wardrobe on.
“The biggest misconception about me is that I’m a bad person,” Bieber said. “I get upset about that. I have a big heart. I want to be a good role model, but some people want me to fail.”
Bieber acknowledged that he was in a tough industry but said he had a great deal of support from family and fans and planned to maintain a positive outlook.
Now he’s focusing on what comes next.
“I’m thinking about my next album, next tour. Or maybe I’ll take a break,” he said. “I’m figuring it out. Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do at 19?”
Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, is also speaking out about her son, to say she is giving him space.
“I think him being 19, you know, I just got to let go a little bit and let him make his own decisions,” Mallette told “Access Hollywood Live” Wednesday. “I’m sure you can appreciate how, as a mom, how I feel when I read some of these stories.”
Earlier this week, Bieber’s neighbor filed a battery report, claiming that the singer made threats and physical contact with him during a verbal altercation about alleged excessive noise. Police are investigating.