There's a fine line between having more fun than any teenager alive and completely melting down. Justin Bieber seems determined to find it — and Rolling Stone goes inside the egg-throwing, hard-partying, drag-racing, arrest-resisting, brothel-patronizing, lightning-quick fall of a pop icon in our new issue (on stands Friday). Contributing editor Claire Hoffman gets the dirt on the 19-year-old's most recent troubles, uncovering events that would make the singer's core Beliebers lose their faith. Here are five of the most shocking revelations:
One of Justin's wildest nights went down at a Miami strip club called King of Diamonds Gentlemen's Club.
Bieber puffed a G Pen weed vaporizer and blew through the $75,000 in small bills his bodyguards brought for him in the VIP room, accepting lap dance after lap dance. The occasion? The January birthday of Bieber's pal, rapper Lil Scrappy. Two days later, Justin was arrested for drag racing in a rented Lamborghini.
Insiders blame Bieber's dad for encouraging Justin's bad behavior.
Bieber's 38-year-old pop Jeremy split with Justin's mom when he was a toddler, but has reappeared in a big way. "His father's not a great influence," says a source. "They're almost not like father and son — it's more like two best friends." Jeremy was in the strip club with Justin, enjoying the overflow of his son's parade of strippers, and was also present when Bieber was busted for drag racing (he was accused of helping block off traffic).
As early as 2010, Bieber began to show signs of stress.
Justin broke down in tears backstage one day, bemoaning his lack of privacy. "If you want the Michael Jackson career, you have to grasp that you are never going to be normal again," his manager Scooter Braun told him.
Three authority figures confronted Justin after his night in jail – but that didn't slow his wild behavior.
After his night in jail, Bieber left Miami for Panama, with his gal pal Chantel Jeffries. Usher, Bieber's mother and Braun flew to Panama to have a serious talk about his the singer's behavior, shipping Jeffries back to Miami. A source close to the Bieber camp said the trip wasn't an intervention, but "a conversation, reminding him of the people who care about him, and to consider things to do about it."
After the non-intervention, Bieber and his dad took off on an even more out-of-control trip.
Justin and Jeremy rented a private plane to take them from Toronto to Teterboro Airport outside New York for the Super Bowl. According to a leaked incident report, the pair were so verbally abusive to a flight attendant, she hid in the cockpit with the pilots. The pilots were so overcome by the weed smoke, they had to wear oxygen masks to fly the plane.
Also in this issue: Tim Dickinson on the minimum wage, David Fricke on the making of Green Day's Dookie, Sabrina Rubin Erdely on the story of an autistic teen targeted by an undercover cop, inside True Detective and more.
Look for the issue on stands and in the iTunes App Store this Friday, February 28th.