Justin Bieber went to ground with family, friends and possibly on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez in Canada last week, as a “racism” storm raged in the wake of leaked N-word videos featuring Bieber from several years ago.
Even by Justin Bieber’s standards, last week was bad.
It was a week in which two yesteryear videos of the singer leaked — the first, of the then 15-year-old telling a racist joke, the other as a 14-year-old hamming an N-word parody of “One Less Lonely Girl.”
Amid two earnest apologies from Bieber and his team along with his Instagram snapshot of religious texts on forgiveness, the singer went back to Canada after a brief detour in Mexico with Rita Ora and pals.
While Bieber’s social media posts slowed to a crawl amid looping, reductionist headlines of “sick,” “vile” and worse to inflate a child’s years-old stupidity, Justin did share a family video Instagram on Friday, June 6.
The clip was captioned “Famtime” and showed Justin’s father, Jeremy, celebrating his 40th birthday two days before. Younger step-siblings Jaxon, 4, and Jazmyn, 6, were also seen in the video along with their older brother.
The full version of the Instavid was posted at Jeremy’s Twitter page on June 4, with another updated on June 9.
Into the mix of the racism storm, a polarized debate has opened up between those who think Bieber’s past racial slurs should be left in the past — and those who don’t.
Among celebrities of the opinion that Bieber’s views on race should be judged in the present, are:
Producer and rapper Soulja Boy, Atlanta rap trio Migos, Trey Songz, champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, 50 Cent, Christian rapper Brandon Burke, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Tyson, the Young Money Entertainment label and British comedians Ricky Gervais and Russell Brand.
Meanwhile, it’s been revealed Bieber’s on-off girlfriend Selena Gomez may have rushed to his side in Canada as the “racism” scandal erupted.
It had been thought that Gomez wanted nothing more to do with Bieber after flirting rumors between him and Kylie and Kendall Jenner during a previous trip to Coachella, followed by Selena’s Instagram purge and slam of her ex to a fan on the photo-sharing site.
While Justin was later spotted partying with a succession of females during the Cannes Film Festival, including supermodels Barbara Palvin, Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid, Gomez visited Nepal in her role as a UNICEF Ambassador — reportedly telling a local journalist she wanted “mental peace” from US media.
(Photo: Katy Perry, Selena Gomez, Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Georgia May Jagger In London, May 31.)
On her return, the Disney alum was spotted enjoying a Katy Perry gig with One Direction’s Niall Horan on May 27, a Sam Smith concert and a second dose of Perry with model Cara Delviginge, British model and actress Suki Waterhouse, Georgia May Jagger and other pals four days later.
But, when the biggest controversy to hit Bieber to date ignited, an impulsively posted tweet suggests Gomez was there for him.
According to a fellow guest Victoria Nosko, Selena joined Justin, his mother Pattie Mallette, Jeremy and his ex-partner Erin Wagner, Khalil Sharieff, Shots Of Me founder John Shahidi and others at the 40th birthday bash.
(Photo: Screenshot of Nosko’s deleted tweet, posted June 8.)
Super stoked for this weekend! Get to spend my b day with my fav girl @ErinWagner!! Love our crazy adventures going to be epic :)
— Victoria Nosko (@victorianosko) June 4, 2014
— Victoria Nosko (@victorianosko) June 8, 2014
Oops wrong name in my last tweet…..what it meant to say…..
— Victoria Nosko (@victorianosko) June 9, 2014
Nosko attempted in a later tweet to undo her reveal, and tellingly, deleted it.
From Selena’s social media accounts, it’s not immediately clear if she is still in Canada at press time.
A little over a week ago, the starlet’s paternal grandfather Ricardo Gomez told RadarOnline he believed Selena and Justin might still be a couple someday.
“I think she loves him,” Ricardo admits. “We’d be happy [if Justin proposed] because she’s happy with him. She knows that whatever she decides to do… I mean we stay behind her.”
It’s been reported more years-old Bieber N-word videos will be coming down the pipe, while Mail Online reports the singer is devastated by the exposure of videos he has allegedly been extorted over for years.
Over the weekend, TMZ reported Pastor Carl Lentz of Hillsong Church NYC confirmed that Bieber was [re]-baptized last month, in the midst of the latest shakedown.
More recently, Bieber’s mentor Usher defended his protégé in a statement this past weekend as “unequivocally not a racist.”
(Photo via Instagram.)
In a message posted Saturday, Usher added [in part]:
“What he was 5 years ago was a naive child who did not understand the negative power and degradation that comes from playing with racial slurs. What he is now is a young man faced with an opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids that follow him to not make the same mistakes.”
[Image via Getty Images: Usher, Bieber and Gomez at the Hall of Fame Awards 2011.]