Justin Bieber jetted out of Opa-Locka Airport Miami, Florida, late Friday, a day after he was charged with DUI, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with an expired license.
The superstar and fellow arrestee Khalil Sharieff, also 19, were allegedly drag-racing in a rented yellow Lamborghini and a red Ferrarri, respectively, in a residential street in Miami Beach just after 4 am on Thursday morning.
Recently surfaced surveillance video showing part of the pre-dawn supercars’ allegedly 55 mph ride down a 30 mph limit stretch tailed by three cars and a lone Miami Beach Police cruiser giving chase for 15-blocks before being pulled near 41st street. Video seen here.
TMZ now reports speeds at which police sighted the two cars are in question.
Earlier Friday, Bieber emerged from South Beach’s boutique The Orchid Hotel, to a mob of local news crews, paparazzi, and hundreds of screaming fans, ducking into a back alley and waiting black SUV at the last minute. In the chaos, the pop singer accidentally dropped his crimson hoodie, now owned by Belieber Cynthia Figueroa who excitedly told WSVN’S 7 News, “It’s Justin Bieber’s jacket!” before vowing “I’m never washing it.”
The Canadian’s Miami departure comes amid polarized comment both online and elsewhere.
These range from; Seth Rogen’s “All jokes aside Justin Bieber is a piece of s**t” tweet jaw-drop, to Ariana Grande’s calls for compassion; jumbatron mocking of the “Baby” artist’s mug shot at the Dallas Stars’ playoff against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs — the singer’s ice-hockey team — Ireland Baldwin’s prayers pleas; talk show pummelling; concern from Ellen DeGeneres and Lady Gaga, tough love tweets from longtime manager Scooter Braun, and quotes from Selena Gomez to Mail Online given before Bieber’s arrest.
“I will always care about Justin no matter what – my instinct after all we have been through is to protect him from any harm,” Gomez told the UK paper, referring to her three year on-off relationship with the heartthrob.
Spotted on a Segway outing in Bieber’s Calabasas, California, neighborhood, followed by a demonstrably amicable Instagram, and an alleged camping trip with her ex-boyfriend earlier this month, when asked for a comment about his controversies, the Rudderless actress said:
“Whatever he is going through, I want to see him come out the other side stronger.”
Alongside celebrity opinion runs serious narratives and – as importantly – tabloid momentum pushing the ‘Monsterdom’ of Bieber, which appears to be accelerating a “reaction” spiral from the teen singer, albeit ably assisted by his own actions.
Notably, many media outlets are still publishing an aerial shot taken by a CBS News 4 Miami reporter purportedly showing the teen star “surrounded by bottles” standing next to his father Jeremy in an outside area of The Orchid Hotel, shortly after Bieber’s release from a Miami-Dade County jail on $2,500 bond.
— CBS4 Miami (@CBSMiami) January 23, 2014
However, Bieber’s cousin, Braidyn Topor, says the image of the man assumed to be the singer is another individual — Kevin Nicholson — who is apparently a friend of Jeremy.
Instagram pictures of Nicholson wearing the attire as seen on the image tweeted out by CBS News 4 Miami negates claims that Bieber was captured by CBS News 4 Miami partying just hours after his jail release.
Torpor tweeted the following picture and comment on January 23.
They seriously think KEVIN is Justin? wow.. Miami 10 needs to get their facts straight pic.twitter.com/xNk0mYYezN
— Braidy Bunch (@BraidynTopor12) January 24, 2014
Meanwhile, Jeremy’s influence on Bieber is coming under considerable focus.
While he never married Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette — who gave birth at just 18, Jeremy reportedly left the pair after 10 months — he remained in orbit as a father, teaching his elder son guitar chords and evidently passing on a tattoo obsession.
According to reports, Jeremy, 38, partied with his son at Miami’s SET nightclub before the events that led to the teen’s arrest, and even allegedly helped to block off streets so that his “intoxicated son could drag race the rented car,” the UK’s The Observer writes.
In The Observer’s piece, an expert overview of Jeremy’s psychological impact on Bieber is provided by Manhattan psychoanalyst and author Jamieson Webster. Her take on Bieber’s future unless that relationship is addressed is about as grave as it gets.
Bieber’s image-transforming 2013 from hitmaker, pop prince with a brand message of gifted youth, self-belief, and penetrative audience connection, to a now consistent self-saboteur of his multi-million selling career and life, thanks to a roll call of bizarre incidents and scandals on and off his highly successful Believe tour, has left most non-fans with the impression that the arc from fame to infamy is now complete.
Shockingly poor box office for the mistoned and mistimed, Believe movie and the decidedly non chart-topping — though critically well-received —- Journals album, have segued into a catastrophic start to 2014 after an egg-throwing attack at Bieber’s neighbor’s house allegedly caused $20,000 in damages touched off a Defcon 5 police raid by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The singer is now a suspect in an ongoing felony vandalism and assault investigation.
And yet, there appears to be reason for the madness, and possibly, a road to redemption.
Building on well-established public knowledge that Bieber smokes marijuana, recent reports have alleged the star is dependent on “sizzurp.” TMZ claim Bieber regularly drinks “Actavis Prometh” — a cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine to which candy and fizzy drinks are added. Risks include seizure, respiratory problems, and even death if it’s taken in high doses or regularly mixed with alcohol.
While the “sizzurp” claims are not in any way substantiated apart from unnamed sources, Miami Beach Police allege Bieber admitted to taking prescription medicine, using marijuana, and drinking one beer before his arrest. He also failed a field sobriety test, said police.
CNN and multiple outlets report a source close to the DUI investigation said on Friday two breath tests given to Bieber estimated that his blood-alcohol content was below.08% after his allegedly F-bomb laden “belligerent” arrest.
According to the source, tests reveal contents of 0.011% and 0.014%. Both these figures are below the.08% legal limit for drivers and Florida’s.02% limit for drivers under the legal drinking age of 21, and translates roughly as less than one beer.
However, a legal alcohol level alone may not necessarily clear Bieber’s DUI, as Florida law rules convictions for any controlled substances — not just alcohol — that impair the driver’s “normal faculties” are allowed.
By his own alleged admission it seems in addition to Bieber’s acting out, a big part of that may be his marijuana and prescription drugs usage. TMZ allege Mallette supplies him with Xanax, likely for anxiety – possibly depression, possibly another condition.
These are treatable problems. Moreover, they are common problems which intense media spotlight is likely to exacerbate.
Numerous reports claiming Braun’s team, certain friends of Bieber, and his mother, want him to enter rehab or psychotherapy appear to have legs. Intervention rumblings from Pattie have been reported.
Citing a source, Mail Online said: “They want him to get help and he doesn’t want to get help so Justin is just avoiding his entire team.”
“His team is insisting he go to rehab and he’s not doing it. He just keeps partying. He is really not communicating with anyone besides his dad and his rapper friends.”
Tellingly, Braun’s tweets after his protégé’s arrest seem to indicate decisive action, on his part, may now be in motion.
@justinbieber love you and i will act in the manner of someone who truly cares. that is all I have to say. thanks for all those concerned
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) January 24, 2014
Been a long day. Bottom line is we are defined by how we handle adversity. Be there when it counts. Love fully in good times and bad.
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) January 24, 2014
To E! News, an insider revealed, “Justin’s team has been encouraging him to go to rehab for a while. He won’t listen to his team.”
A hint of the possible depression the star may be suffering from comes via Carmen Ortega, a bikini model who claims Bieber spoke to her when she met up with him and his friends at Miami’s King Of Diamonds strip club last Monday to celebrate rapper Lil Scrappy’s birthday.
“Justin says he feels he’s under so much pressure,” Ortega told the New York Daily News. “He really cares what people say. He was saying that all this attention is ruining his career. He was really sad.”
Revealing Bieber only had a Red Bull at the club, the model claims he confided,”I hate it that people make out I’m a bad guy, there’s so much media pressure. I’m not a bad guy, I’m just being me.”‘
He also reportedly told Carmen, “I can’t do anything right.”
Bieber’s first post-arrest message was a Instagram posted Friday. It showed a picture of the singer waving to fans atop the waiting SUV outside the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center following his Thursday exit from satellite bond hearing.
It’s positioned alongside a shot of Michael Jackson doing the same at his 2004 arraignment at a Santa Barbara courthouse on child sex abuse charges. The late legend was eventually found not guilty of all charges.
Bieber’s caption reads, “What more can they say.”
In addition to being a play on a song title from Jay Z’s 2003 The Black Album, it’s possible Bieber is comparing the media frenzy that surrounds him to that which engulfed the King of Pop in that period of his life, rather than a simplistic assumption that he’s nominating himself as a successor.
Hours later, Justin tweeted a message reaching out to his fans with gratitude. A subsequent Instagram read, “Thank u Lord.”
YOU ARE ALL WORTHY NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE SAYS >> BE STRONG GOD IS WITH US ALL> MY BELIEBERS CHANGED MY LIFE> I WILL FOREVER BE GRATEFUL
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) January 24, 2014
Bieber has finally left Miami and is now in Panama, Central America, which is probably exactly where most people would go after being arrested.
Where will it all end? Rehab, probation, prison, deportation, more of the same?
Can the pop phenom turned train wreck phoenix out of his arrest tipping point to a balanced healthy life, a rehabilitated public image, and career rejuvenation?
Time, Bieber’s own choices, and the narrators, will tell.