Scooter Braun says he feared Justin Bieber could die

Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's high-profile manager, said his protege's downward spiral prior to this year's comeback made him fear the worst at the time.

The well-known music manager says pop star made a conscious decision to make a change

Talent manager Scooter Braun, at left in 2012, says he feared Justin Bieber could die if the superstar toured during the height of his troubles. (Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

Scooter Braun, Justin Bieber's high-profile manager, said his protege's downward spiral prior to this year's comeback made him fear the worst at the time.

In an interview this week with the New York Times, Braun said "outsiders" don't know the whole story.

"It was far worse than people realize. And when he [Bieber] is ready, he will tell what he was going through. But it's a hard thing to watch someone you care and genuinely love go through that. I'm really, really happy that's over."

Bieber experienced what appeared to be a public meltdown in 2013, getting in trouble with the law on charges of assault and driving under the influence.  Who can forget that orange jumpsuit and baffling expression in the now infamous 2014 mugshot
Justin Bieber smiles for a mug shot in January 2014 after being charged in Miami. Police said the teen singer told authorities he had consumed alcohol, smoked marijuana and taken prescription drugs. (Miami Dade County Jail/Associated Press)

There was "pee-gate" in July of 2013 when a video of someone purported to be the Biebs urinated in a restaurant mop bucket, hurling expletives at a photo of Bill Clinton. Later that year he was reportedly spotted leaving a brothel while on tour in Brazil. Then in early 2014, police raided his home near Los Angeles after a neighbour's vandalism allegation. All of a sudden, the detention of his exotic pet monkey in Germany the year before was looking like the least of his growing troubles.

"As I started to see it going in the wrong direction, I started to prepare," Braun told the New York Times. "I put deals in place where he was protected for the long run. And I started to prepare my company to scale, because I was not going to let him work. [After Journals, Mr. Bieber's 2013 digital compilation,] he wanted to tour, and I honestly at that time felt, if he toured, he could die."

Braun said he worked for a year and a half on what would eventually be seen as Bieber's comeback.

"It wasn't until something happened that it clicked for him [Bieber]. He made the conscious decision as a young man: 'I need to make a change in my own life.'"

The rebranding has certainly worked for Bieber's latest album Purpose released in November. The first two singles What Do You Mean? and Sorry saw major chart success.
Justin Bieber performs at an intimate Toronto concert in December to raise money for a food bank in Stratford, Ont. (John Rieti/CBC)

Not to mention his philanthropic side became very public recently with a Toronto fundraiser for the Stratford food bank that his family once used and a push on Twitter to vote himself out of a coveted spot on the British music charts so that a charity single sung by doctors and nurses could win instead.

But that doesn't mean the 21-year-old's every move can be monitored — especially when it comes to social media.

Two tweets from Bieber's account aimed at the Australian pop band 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) after a Dec. 26 Rolling Stone cover article were posted and swiftly deleted. In the article, the band mentioned Bieber, saying they crashed a party he threw following the American Music Awards.

5SOS guitarist Michael Clifford was quoted as saying "I think he hates us" and "I probably shouldn't say this, but he had his own album on loop for, like, two or three hours." 

In response, the tweet to Clifford said: "Don't use my name for headlines. U are already on the cover. You don't need it. Just be honest. Big hugs bud."

Two tweets from Bieber's account were posted and quickly pulled down in response to 5SOS's comments by the band's guitarist in a Dec. 26 Rolling Stone article.

The message, along with a second one, was quickly pulled down. Maybe Bieber is trying to start taking the higher road or simply realized that by even mentioning the band, its members will get more headlines than from the article itself.



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