Justin Bieber has been called many things in his short life, but it’s likely “a smack addiction waiting to happen” probably won’t make his favorites list.
The dire prediction about Bieber’s future was made by Joey Barton, a British footballer and former Queens Park Rangers midfielder, who is known for his outspoken and often aggressive behavior both on the pitch and social media.
On Monday, Barton took to his Twitter account, writing:
“I’d rather flush my head down the toilet daily than be a ‘Belieber’. He’s a smack addiction waiting to happen. #macaulayculkinstyle.”
A scan of Barton’s timeline revealed the main reason for his irritation with the teen sensation appeared to be his disbelief that the pop star could attract over 35 million followers on Twitter as compared to Barton’s two million. Before his fighting talk “smack” tweet, the footballer posted this incredulous message:
“35 million?!? What the f*****g, f**k! He looks little a shaved little bird with earrings. This is a truly f****d up world, if he’s ‘cool.'”
Barton was jailed for six months in 2008 for assault and affray after being seen on CCTV punching one man 20 times before he attacked a 16-year-old boy so viciously that the teenager was left with broken teeth. That incident came just months after Barton was suspended from his former Manchester City team for what The Guardian described as a “brutal and prolonged attack” on another player.
While it’s clear Barton’s downtime would be better spent attending to his own issues, it is true that Bieber seems to be on something of a sliding slope at the moment.
Currently on the trail of his Believe tour, the last few months have seen the 19-year-old pictured smoking an exotic cigarette and sued for allegedly attacking his former bodyguard amid endless online pouting from Bieber and his camp over his Grammy nomination shut out.
More recently, the Canadian’s 19th birthday celebrations imploded in a swirl of social media accusations after London nightclub Cirque du Soir revealed they refused entrance to Bieber and his entourage because the singer’s alleged new crush Ella-Paige Roberts Clark and Jaden Smith were under the drinking age minimum, E! reports.
The pop prince had this to say about Cirque du Soir’s version of events:
“The funny moment when people believe I brought underage people to the club. U think Will is letting his 14 year old in a club, I don’t think so. 2nd I love how the club wanted to give the press another reason to why we didn’t stay at their weak a*s club so they wouldn’t look bard for me walking in and right back out. I said my worst bday but that was due to dummies pushing over my fans and being overly aggressive.”
The drama didn’t end there.
After Bieber hit London’s 02 Arena stage two hours late on the opening night of his four-date run, thousands of parents whose children had gone to the concert faced a tough choice between leaving early to catch last connections for public transport or disappointing their tired, upset youngsters, BBC News reports.
As a result, even before the singer took to the stage — he offered no apology or explanation when he eventually did — the sound of 20,000 Justin Bieber fans booing filled the arena for almost an hour beforehand.
Not surprisingly, hundreds of parents vented their fury on Twitter afterwards. Many complained about the long wait, the lack of information from organizers about what was happening, and — in one case — the $607 (£400) price tag for three tickets.
Last night, the 02 Arena tweeted apologies for the debacle along with a follow-up promise on Tuesday morning that it would be “doing everything within [its] power to ensure Justin makes it on stage at the right time” for his remaining shows.
With many wondering if the pressure of growing up in the public eye and perils that can befall a child star’s transition to adulthood have turned a once sweet kid into an out of control diva, it remains to be seen where Bieber ends up. But, this we know: Intense fame is a cage. A gilded, adrenalin, wild ride that can only really be understood by those who possess it — or treat it.
For Bieber’s sake, let’s hope Barton’s wrong.