From egging his neighbors to abandoning his pet monkey, Justin Bieber knows how to make headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Famous guests didn’t hold back during the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber,” but before the special aired on Monday night, the controversial pop star opened up to USAToday about the epic mistakes he’s made during his short career — and what he’s learned from his multiple mess-ups.
TheWrap picked the five buzziest revelations from Bieber’s candid chat with journalist Marco della Cava, who first interviewed the “Baby” singer when he was 16 in 2010.
He’s not a dumb kid anymore … no, really
“I’m growing, figuring some stuff out. As you do when you grow up. You figure out what type of man you want to be, that’s where I’m at,” claimed the 21-year-old when asked if he’d “turned a corner” over recent years.
If you don’t believe him, take a good look into his eyes. “You know how you can tell a person by their eyes, their intentions and where they’re at? Well, my eyes changed, they got softer and brighter,” Bieber said. “They’re open. I have more of a grasp of who I am at this point.”
Lack of privacy is tough Bieber
Beyond the global fame, 62 million Twitter followers and a car collection that’s straight off the set of “Furious 7,” life is not a bed of roses for Bieber. “Unless you’re stupid, I don’t think you would think it’s easy to be who I am. Just use your head, you’ll understand that my life is not easy. Not having privacy,” he said. “Growing up in front of the cameras since I was 13, 14. You need to have those mess-ups without anyone judging you, and that’s not something I was able to do. I think that people realize, they see it now, the transition. We can talk and do interviews and I can say I’m in a better place, but until they see the walk, and see the transition come to life, that’s what’s really going to matter.”
He’s learned the hard way
Following repeated run-ins with the law since his first arrest in 2014, including egging his neighbors, suspected DUI, dangerous driving and vandalism, Bieber admitted that he had to “learn the hard way.”
“I had to see the downs to appreciate the ups … But I got to the point where I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t who I wanted to be.”
He’s ditched his entourage
“I left a lot of people behind who weren’t on the same journey I was on, and I’ve got a lot of new people in my life who are pouring into me, and not taking away from me,” Bieber told USAToday. “Now, I’m around some pretty awesome people who are supporting me and have my back.”
Back off girls, he wants to stay single
After his on-again-off-again relationship with Selena Gomez became tabloid fodder in 2010 — as did his dad, Jeremy Bieber, reportedly accompanying him to a strip club — the pop star says he’s gonna stay single for a while. “I’m so focused on myself that I’m not looking for a girlfriend. I’m just trying to make sure I’m 100 percent so I can add to the person I want to be with,” said the young bachelor. “I want a girl I can trust, who I can lean on. This business is hard, and I want someone I can confide in.”
He’s made up with his mom — and his manager
Justin was raised by his mom, Pattie Mallette, but even they had a recent falling out. “We lost our relationship for awhile. She couldn’t really tell me anything; she would try, but I wasn’t listening to anybody and that sort of sucked. But our relationship is getting better now; we’re getting it back,” he said. The same goes for his manager, Scooter Braun, who first discovered him through his YouTube videos in 2007. “He’s in the picture, yeah. We also were on some weird terms, too, but now we’re back 100 percent.”
As for the roast, which airs on Comedy Central at 10 p.m. ET on Monday, Bieber admitted: “I’m human, so some of the things they said stung a little, but I took it on the chin, owned up to some of the funny, dumb things that have happened,” he said, adding that his favorite part involved Will Ferrell. “Man, when he came out (as Ron Burgundy) and said ‘No, Justin’s been doing everything right.’ That was so funny.”