Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette, refused to talk about her famous son’s private life in a recent interview while promoting a new teen edition of her best selling book Nowhere But Up.
The 38-year-old who endured a traumatic childhood blighted by child abuse, adolescent drug-taking, petty theft, drinking, and a suicide attempt at age 17, says her life turned around when she became a Christian.
She gave birth to Bieber at 18 and lived for a time with her son in sheltered accommodation.
Even after the pair eventually moved into a place of their own, Mallette would occasionally turn to the Stratford [Ontario] House of Blessing food bank to meet their household needs.
Years later, Bieber would gift the bank with $10,000 and a guitar to auction, later paying a surprise visit to the center in December 2011 to donate food days before Christmas.
Mallette revealed she left out some of the more harrowing parts of her story in the Revell published new edition of her original 2012 memoir, as it is specifically aimed at teenagers and features some of the questions she is frequently asked on Twitter from her two million plus followers.
Speaking to the Associated Press in a Wednesday telephone interview from L.A., the usually open author and Crescendo film producer shut down any probes about the actual and alleged incidents that have kept her son in the headlines in recent months.
When the subject of allegations of Bieber’s speeding in his Calabasas, CA, neighborhood, run-ins with paparazzi, the seizure of his former pet monkey in Germany and other items came up, Mallette said she preferred not to comment.
“He wants me to continue to respect his boundaries and my relationship with him,” she replied, then explained. “Everybody has their own opinion and everybody wants to sensationalize everything.”
Given the level of debate about Bieber, which has seen contributions from a roll call of celebrities such as Channing Tatum, Kid Rock, Judd Apatow, Michael Buble, Will Smith, Jon Bon Jovi, Olivia Wilde, Mark Wahlberg, will.i.am, One Direction, Oasis’ Liam Gallagher and 50 Cent, to name just a few, it’s perhaps not surprising that the one person the teen star doesn’t want joining the free-for-all is his own mother.
While Mallette refused to give an opinion on the recent controversies surrounding her son, many of which are arguably tabloid inflated, she did reveal that she spoke to the 19-year-old regularly.
Back in 2008/9, America’s imagination was captured by the real life rags-to-riches tale of a young woman struggling economically who refused to abort her child and later supported his dreams of singing, eventually moving to Atlanta, Georgia when Bieber’s would-be mentor Usher and manager Scooter Braun came knocking.
Five years (and a bit) later, notwithstanding the vaulting fame, fortune, and millions of devoted fans her son has amassed, does Mallette feel she has maintained her connection with and ability to guide Bieber through the present turbulence in his life?
“You have to sort of let them make some of their own decisions,” the still youthful mom admits. “Me, personally, I would love to be with him all the time and to be able to ground him and deal with his problems and do all of that stuff, but at some point the parenting style changes. I hope to still be a respected voice in his ear.”
Of the other teens in her life she hopes to reach with her A.J. Gregory collaborated book, Mallette said she had recently worked with young people in the Watts projects and shared her story and faith to show them they were not alone in what they were going through.
“A lot of teenagers are feeling really discouraged at their circumstances,” she added.
The special teen edition of Nowhere But Up is out now.