Now, Pattie Mallette is talking about that strength — and what it’s been like to raise a superstar. On Tuesday, she sat down with Kathie Lee Gifford on the Today show to discuss her experiences.
What did Mallette have to say?
“I had to grow up pretty fast,” said the 37-year-old, who gave birth to Bieber when she was just 18.
Indeed. As early as the age of four, she says had been sexually abused; by the time she was 14, she was abusing drugs and alcohol. At one point, Mallette says, she even tried to commit suicide.
“It was a culmination of, you know, built up over the years with the abuse and the pain and at the time I was messed up with all the drugs and alcohol,” Mallette revealed. “I was in a depression.”
When she became pregnant with Bieber, Mallette says many had told her to have an abortion. She refused — and when the star was born, she quickly realized he was musically gifted.
Speaking about the first time he cried, she said. “I know this sounds crazy, but he sounded like he was singing.”
Bieber officially hit the music scene at age 12 when he entered a local talent contest called “Stratford Star”; his mother began then posting videos on YouTube for his long-distance grandmother to watch. The clips caught the eye of manager Scooter Braun, but Mallette was initially hesitant to bring her son into the world of showbiz.
“You just hear all these stories in the industry, the teenagers and how crazy they can go,” she said. “I just had to come to terms with the fact that whether he’s in high school, at home or in the industry, there’s those same fears.”
Bieber, meanwhile, only has high praise for his mother. “She’s been a friend — someone I can talk to you and a good role model,” he told Gifford. “I want to grow up and have just the heart that my mom has, because she has such a big heart.”
The second part of Gifford’s interview with Mallette airs Wednesday on Today. Mallette will also appear on The Ellen Degeneres Show on Tuesday afternoon to promote her memoir.
Will you be picking up Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom? Let us know in the comments below.
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