Following his arrest yesterday in Miami Beach for drunken drag racing, Justin Bieber took to Instagram today to cryptically compare himself to Michael Jackson. “What more can they say,” wrote the recently troubled pop star along with a split image of himself and the King of Pop; one half of the image shows Bieber sitting on top of a SUV after leaving police custody, while the other side shows Jackson standing on top of a vehicle in Santa Monica, waving to fans after his infamous “not guilty” plea to charges of child molestation.
Outside of that vague message, Bieber hasn’t commented directly on the arrest. However, using a picture of Jackson from such an unflattering era is certainly a bold choice; he seems to be implying a comparison between Jackson’s negative media treatment and his own.
The incident in Miami Beach reportedly involved the 19-year-old pop star drag-racing in a rented yellow Lamborghini against a red Ferrari. Bieber and the other driver used two other vehicles to block traffic in a residential area. Both were arrested after police chased the yellow sports car, which was followed by a pack of SUVs. Bieber failed a sobriety test at the scene, along with a Breathalyzer test taken at the Miami Beach police station. His $2,500 bond broke down to $1,000 for driving under the influence, $1,000 for resisting arrest without violence and $500 for driving with an expired license.
Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, showed support for the pop star. “Been a long day,” he tweeted. “Bottom line is we are defined by how we handle adversity. Be there when it counts. Love fully in good times and bad.” Meanwhile, Bieber’s father, Jeremy, also cautioned his followers not to believe everything they read: “I can protect my kids, but I can’t protect them from you and your lies,” he tweeted. “Believe in the truth not in the lies of the enemy.
Lady Gaga even chimed in on the situation with some positive vibes. “I know everyone today is taking about Justin’s arrest and all sorts of words and judgements are happening on the Internet,” she wrote. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and to stand up for themselves, but I think we should be supportive of Beliebers. They deserve, just like any other fan, to feel strong for each other and Justin so they can continue to share the bond they have through music. We may not understand everything celebrities do because there’s only so much we see, but Justin and Beliebers were ‘born this way’ too.”
The arrest is merely the latest incident in a long series of questionable decisions, legal scuffles and PR disasters from Bieber. Last Tuesday, Bieber’s friend, rapper Lil Za, was arrested for possession of drugs, which followed an investigation into an egging altercation in Calabasas, California neighborhood. While authorities originally believed the confiscated substance was cocaine, TMZ reports it is now believed to be MDMA.