Justin Bieber’s family didn’t just walk the purple carpet at the Believe movie-documentary premiere on Wednesday night, they also defended the singer against his critics.
The star’s mother, Pattie Mallette, maternal grandparent, Diane, and stepfather Bruce Lane had plenty to say to the media that attended the Regal L.A. Live event amid a scene of screaming teen fans, young celebrities, and paparazzi.
Flatly denying Justin needs rehab, grandmother Diane insists the media has been “terrible” to the 19-year-old during a tumultuous year in which he traveled the globe with his Believe tour, trailing incidents and allegations in his wake.
“I think the media’s been terrible [to] him. There are so many lies going around,” she said. “A little bit is true but most of it is lies. It’s terrible.”
Incidents along Bieber’s PR masterclass year kicked off in London with a disastrous four-night run at the 02 center. A delayed opening night inconvenienced thousands of parents, many of whom had to leave early to take their kids home to catch last transports.
A backstage collapse on another night ended with the singer’s hospitalization, Twitter essays from Bieber about UK tabloids, and an expletive-filled clash with a Brit paparazzo.
A tour bus drug raid in Sweden in April, an ongoing battery investigation, and claims by Justin’s neighbors of the star’s alleged anti-social behavior in his Calabasas neighborhood followed.
The months ahead saw Justin seemingly in a permanent state of shirtlessness in — airports, busy streets, stages, atop Segways, bicycles, and in nightclubs. The singer had his former pet monkey seized in March after he was unable to provide documentation in Munich.
A summer of various battery, theft, spitting, brawling, and speeding accusations leveled against either Bieber or bodyguards gave way to graffiti, brothel, and strip club items along the South American leg of his now wrapped tour.
But to Bieber’s step-grandfather Bruce, the issue is the unnatural focus on his grandson.
“He’s still a teenager growing up in the spotlight,” he railed. “And how would you like to wake up in the morning with a camera shoved in your face? I don’t blame him for acting out. I would.”
Similarly, Mallette defended her son at the premiere, saying: “It’s tough because the whole world is a critic.”
“I think sometimes people dehumanise celebrities and I think what’s so great about this movie is that you get to see his humanity, the really sensitive side,” she added.
Believe director, Jon M. Chu, who helmed Bieber’s first 2011 feature, Never Say Never, also spoke up for the singer at the premiere, as did Usher, who can be seen in the footage above.
Affectionately describing the teen star as someone who’s “always been a troublemaker,” Chu also said Justin was “charming” and a “good kid.”
The director affirmed:
“I wouldn’t come back if I didn’t like him and who he was. So I think it’s a testament to the people around him that stick around that they love who he is, and they want the world to see that. And I want the world to see that. And I think when you do see it, you’ll accept him you’ll accept him for the good and the bad.”
Justin Bieber’s Believe opens nationally across the US on Christmas Day.