Return to Transcripts main page
CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Justin Bieber's Wild Ride
Aired January 25, 2014 - 19:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NISCHELLE TURNER, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): He was an unknown singer whose YouTube videos went viral.
CARLOS GREER, "PEOPLE": He pretty much became the first YouTube sensation, the first megastar to launch from YouTube.
TURNER: A teenage heartthrob whose chart-topping hits kill "Boyfriend" made Beliebers of his fans, until the fresh-faced good boy tops the headlines with his bad boy behavior.
SHIRLEY HALPERIN, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": You're a larger- than-life pop star, and you don't know right or wrong.
TURNER: A night of partying in South Beach turns into a late- night arrest.
SGT. BOBBY HERNANDEZ, MIAMI BEACH POLICE DEPARTMENT: He told the officers that he had been drinking beer, smoking cannabis and taking prescription medication.
TURNER: The fall of a pop superstar, "Justin Bieber's Wild Ride."
TURNER: Welcome, everybody. I'm Nischelle Turner.
It's an all-too familiar story. Young stars with money, fame and fans, they seem to have it all, only to end up splashed all over the tabloids. Lindsay Lohan, Amanda Bynes, and now Bieber -- Justin Bieber under arrest after a wild night in Miami Beach.
Now, from the early days of instant fame and a milk-and-cookies reputation that went sour to what happened that night, the life of Justin Bieber.
TURNER (voice-over): Miami Beach, colorful tropical paradise, with sand, surf, art deco, hedonistic playground, fast cars, beautiful bodies, nightclubs, where the rich and famous look for fun, but often find trouble, TV and movie stars, athletes, rappers, and now pop idol Justin Bieber. On Monday, when Bieber's flight landed at Opa-locka, Florida, Airport, seen in this TMZ video, officers are there waiting for him, waiting to be his personal escorts for the night.
DAVID CHIVERTON, OPA-LOCKA ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER: It was unauthorized. The police administration had no knowledge of this escort, and it is not the norm. At some point, the escort took him at least to two locations that we know of.
TURNER: The first stop reportedly is a South Beach hot spot, Mansion nightclub. Then, with police still in tow, Bieber goes to King of Diamonds strip club, where Lil' Scrappy is celebrating his birthday.
The club tweets, "Justin Bieber just ordered 75,000 ones" -- 75,000 $1 bills. The club's operator denied Bieber dropped so much money.
RICKY TAYLOR, NIGHTCLUB OWNER: Nobody is throwing that type of money. They had a lot of dancers around them, and they paid them in their hand. No dancer wants to show what they actually got.
TURNER: During his Miami stay, Bieber spends part of Wednesday at the beach with his father and friend, R&B singer Khalil Sharieff. Bieber and Sharieff are also spotted hanging out at a skate shop.
"People" magazine reporter Carlos Greer has covered Bieber's career. He says when it comes to the Bieber persona, cute is out, edgy is in.
GREER: Justin apparently was living a fast life in Miami, living the rock star lifestyle, going to strip clubs, drinking, apparently doing drugs.
TURNER: The next night, Thursday, Bieber is back in party mode, this time seen in these TMZ photos at set nightclub. Then he and his wingman Sharieff hit the streets.
On Instagram and Twitter, Sharieff posts photos of them cruising Miami in Italian luxury sports cars, Sharieff's, a red Ferrari, Bieber's a yellow Lamborghini. Bieber has a passenger, model Chantel Jeffries.
Police say two black SUVs block off Pine Tree Drive, empty, except for Bieber and Sharieff. Then, according to police, they race down the residential street until just after 4:00 a.m.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justin is going to get -- oh, my God. He's going to get in a crash.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, my God. Justin just got pulled over. Oh, my God. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Justin got pulled over. Justin got pulled over.
TURNER: Flashing lights. Seen in this TMZ video, police spot the dueling Ferrari and Lamborghini.
HERNANDEZ: An officer on active patrol noticed two vehicles which later he determined to be a Ferrari and a Lamborghini racing northbound on 26 and Pine Tree. Thank goodness he was able to pull them over at 41st Street and Pine Tree Drive. He smelled alcohol on his breath, as well as the cannabis, the marijuana smell that he had on his person.
TURNER: Bieber And Sharieff had been going 55 to 60 miles per hour, twice the posted speed limit, according to this arrest affidavit.
HERNANDEZ: And he was very upset that the officers were actually questioning him. He felt almost insulted, a "How dare you?"-type attitude with the officer for stopping him. Instead of taking a humble approach, he took an aggressive approach and obviously things went downhill from there.
TURNER: The officer reports, "I was going to perform a cursory pat-down. The driver stated, 'I ain't got no F-ing weapons. Why do you have to search me? What the F. is this about? The driver again turned around to face me."
HERNANDEZ: At that point, the officer decided, since he wasn't complying with any of his orders, he was going to arrest him for obstruction.
TURNER: Bieber is in trouble for more than just his defiance.
HERNANDEZ: He told the officers that he had been drinking beer, smoking cannabis, or marijuana, and taking prescription medication. He didn't know exactly medication he was taking. He said that he just takes what his mother tells him to take is what he told the officer.
TURNER: Teen idol Justin Bieber is facing serious adult charges.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DUI, alcohol or drugs, resisting without violence, driving with an expired driver's license.
JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, the big issue now is, what does the prosecution in Miami Beach want to do? Do they want to press forward with the case that could well be felonies, or do they want to reach some kind of a deal, a plea bargain?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What would the standard bond be?
TURNER: Could Canadian Justin Bieber be deported?
TOOBIN: Certainly, if this case proceeds in a much more serious way than it currently looks to be, certainly his immigration status might be at issue. But a simple drunk driving case is not the kind of thing that usually gets you thrown out of the country, but if it's more serious than that, there could be worse problems.
TURNER: His South Florida caper is the latest in a recent string of bad boy behavior.
JUSTIN BIEBER, MUSICIAN: What did you say?
TURNER: Fighting with the paparazzi, allegations of spitting on fans.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, come right over here, you (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
Call the cops.
TURNER: And an ongoing investigation in California into eggs seen in these TMZ images splattered on a neighbor's house. Bieber's come a long way from his squeaky-clean image as a teen heartthrob.
Coming up: a teenager whose fame began as a beloved YouTube sensation.
TURNER (voice-over): Justin Bieber was a musically talented tween, a Canadian kid with no musical training, when, at the age of 12, he wowed in a local talent show. His mom posted his performance on YouTube for relatives to see, but friends weren't the only ones watching.
GREER: He pretty much became the first YouTube sensation.
TURNER: Justin Bieber was singing cover tunes, like Alicia Keys' "Fallin'." And his viral videos caught the attention of manager Scooter Braun, who vowed to make him a pop sensation. Bieber's good luck was about to get even better. Braun introduced him to two of music's biggest stars.
BIEBER: I met actually Usher randomly in a parking lot going into a studio.
USHER, MUSICIAN: When I saw him online, I understood his talent and wanted to meet him in person. I needed to just understand truly who he was and what he offered as a star. Did he have star quality? So, when I saw him, it was instant. He performed for me in person. He sang a song. He actually challenged for me to sing with him.
TURNER: Usher was sold. And he wasn't the only one.
BIEBER: And then, a week later, I met Justin Timberlake. And they kind of both saw me. They saw my talents, and they were like, wow, I want to sign this kid. And I was like, really, you want to sign me?
TURNER: Shirley Halperin is "The Hollywood Reporter"'s music editor.
HALPERIN: It became a little bit of a bidding war even before he recorded his first note.
TURNER: Usher won, and took Bieber straight to music executive l.a., where he sang one time.
What was that audition with L.A. Reid, where he sang "One Time."
(on camera): What was that audition with L.A. Reid like then?
HALPERIN: Justin came into the conference room and danced on the table and sang on the table, just really blew away the label staff. He was an unknown entity, but I think L.A. Reid, being very sharp and perceptive when it comes to new talent, just saw that spark and signed him really quickly.
TURNER (voice-over): Usher became his mentor and introduced his protege to the world in this YouTube video.
USHER: Recording artist Justin Bieber is getting ready to go down.
TURNER: Carlos Greer writes for "People" magazine.
GREER: Justin was pretty much groomed by Usher. He was groomed by the best. You watch a Justin Bieber performance, you see Usher in Justin Bieber.
TURNER: Bieber would break records just months after the release of his first album. In 2010, his song "Baby" became the most watched YouTube video ever.
GREER: When Justin released his first single, "One Time," he immediately became a superstar. He had fans running after him. He had to increase his security. And so he immediately just had this wild life.
TURNER: Bieber was stealing the spotlight from Taylor Swift at Madison Square Garden, appearing on Dick Clark's New Year's Eve show and performing for the president.
BIEBER: I have done a lot of cool things. I got to present at the Grammys, present at the VMAs. But probably performing for the president is one of the coolest things.
TURNER: But to America, Bieber was cool. His haircut was copied by kids across the country and his presence would send girls screaming.
(on camera): Bieber mania went crazy. HALPERIN: Bieber mania exploded. The girls went crazy. Everywhere he went, he was mobbed, malls mobbed.
GREER: He literally was like the Michael Jackson of his time. Fans literally were falling all over him.
TURNER (voice-over): Bieber loved it.
BIEBER: What 15-year-old wouldn't want screaming girls running for him all the time?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I don't know. Do you have a girlfriend?
BIEBER: Right now, no. I'm single.
TURNER: But, by the end of 2010, that was no longer true. Pop princess Selena Gomez had captured his heart.
(on camera): It was like puppy love at its finest.
HALPERIN: Yes. And she would show up at his concerts and he would show up on stage with her. It was very sweet.
GREER: Selena was sort of like Justin's backbone. They were in inseparable. They were the teenage pop couple of their time. Initially, when they started dating, his fans hated her. But then they grew to actually love them as a couple.
TURNER (voice-over): And the love for Bieber kept growing. Just one year after releasing his first record, he had more than one billion YouTube views, more than 15 million likes on Facebook, and four American Music Awards.
HALPERIN: It was so insane, that huge ascent, and social media just helped propel it further and faster.
TURNER: That same year, Bieber made his big-screen debut in a concert documentary chronicling his life, and, ironically, starred as a bad boy in a string of "CSI" episodes.
But just weeks after his character was killed off the show, one of the first signs of a boy behaving badly: Bieber flicks his middle finger to the paparazzi.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HLN HOST: It all has that flavor of unregulated aggression. It's like, when I get frustrated, I act out.
TURNER: Coming up:
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drive safe, Justin. Drive safe.
TURNER: Acting out would seen bring Bieber more attention than his music.
GREER: I think, over the past year, we have been watching Bieber have a meltdown.
TURNER (voice-over): From little boy to big star, Justin Bieber's fresh-faced good looks have been the focus of thousands of photos worldwide. But this is one photo he never wanted, a Miami Beach mug shot marking Bieber's transformation from bad boy to big trouble.
(on camera): Can we talk about the mug shot?
TURNER (voice-over): Shirley Halperin interviewed Bieber in November of 2013.
HALPERIN: It was so funny, because I recognized that Justin Bieber who I spent so much time with, and that look of him in the camera was kind of the look he had when we did this video segment with him where he just turned it on. He is posing for the police.
TURNER: Posing, but not talking. Bieber and his camp haven't responded to CNN's request for comment. But it seems safe to assume this isn't what he planned when he dropped "Believe," his third studio album, in June of 2012, a new sound, a new look, a clear message: I'm not that kid anymore.
GREER: He has a different haircut. His style has changed. He's constantly out with his shirt off and his pants hanging all the way down. He has all these tattoos now.
TURNER: Bieber broke up, for the last time, with Selena Gomez and seemed to amp up the bad behavior, staring down the paparazzi, speeding in a Lamborghini, and, in this TMZ photo, even smoking what was alleged to be marijuana.
(on camera): Why didn't somebody see this coming? Why didn't somebody help him or stop him?
HALPERIN: It's just that sort of tricky situation where you have a huge star who you really need to make happy. There was a telling moment in his movie, actually, in "Believe," where they sat him down and asked him, have you heard no from anyone, like, recently? And he laughed and said, no. It's really hard to turn him down.
TURNER (voice-over): But that, says Dr. Drew Pinsky, isn't doing Bieber any favors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drive safe, Justin. Drive safe, man.
PINSKY: Just keeping him working is enabling him, in an interesting kind of a way. But, of course, I mean, the people around a celebrity are more concerned with their access to the celebrity than the well-being of the individuals. TURNER: Bieber laughed off his troubles live on "Saturday Night."
BIEBER: I also heard he got busted for smoking weed and he's really sorry about it and that people make mistakes, and he's never going to do it again.
TURNER: Bieber was unfazed. And why not? "Believe," the album and tour, were minting money, like his hit "Boyfriend."
Unfortunately for Bieber, the Grammy voters didn't seem to be fans.
HALPERIN: I think the reason he doesn't get the recognition by music industry organizations like the Grammys is because it's still seen as bubble gum. We still see him as a teen pop star. I have a feeling he probably hates reading articles where it says "teen phenom."
TURNER: March 2013, a month after the Grammys, Justin Bieber celebrated his 19th birthday in London, but not quite as planned.
MICHAEL HOLMES, CNN ANCHOR: He is having a bad week in London.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Poor Biebs.
TURNER: Shirtless, then wearing a gas mask, hours late to a huge show, then blowing off an autograph session.
Ultimately, Bieber was hospitalized, short of breath. But by the time he left the hospital...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK. OK. OK. Easy. Easy.
TURNER: ... he had plenty to say to the paparazzi.
BIEBER: What the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) did you say?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You heard what I said, man.
BIEBER: What did you say?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You heard what I (EXPLETIVE DELETED) said.
TURNER (on camera): But, when he reacted the way he did, I remember thinking, oh, boy.
HALPERIN: I had the exact same reaction, like, it was sort of like he needs to keep himself in check. Sometimes, he just snaps, you know? And, I mean, can you really blame him? He's a 19-year-old kid.
GREER: I think, over the past year, we have been watching Bieber have a meltdown. He's been acting erratically.
TURNER (voice-over): More erratic behavior? A very public pit stop in this TMZ video from July. BIEBER: We swagger, man. That's the coolest spot to piss.
TURNER: Seemingly spitting on fans weeks later, and the odd moment that happened here in Calabasas, California. In the suburbs outside L.A., the rich and famous hide behind gates and hedges, out of reach of everyone, except their neighbors.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The L.A. County Sheriff's Department has arrived on the scene. They are conducting an investigation into an egg-throwing incident that Justin Bieber was apparently involved in.
HALPERIN: There was some scuffle with the neighbor. And Justin allegedly chucked -- I mean, there was video of it -- he chucked eggs at the guy's house, a really bad scene.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Causing quite a bit of damage, something to the tune of about $20,000.
HALPERIN: You're a larger-than-life pop star, and you don't know right or wrong.
LT. DAVID THOMPSON, L.A. COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT: Mr. Bieber's past actions of loud parties, driving too fast, large numbers of people there are way out of character for anyone that lives in that neighborhood.
TURNER: Days later, L.A. County investigators searching the house arrested Bieber's friend, rapper Lil Za, for having the illegal drug Molly. Though no charges have been brought against Bieber, the egg investigation continues.
PINSKY: I think something much more serious is going on here, and if my suspicion is right and the substances that are involved are what I'm worried and, this ain't going to stop, it's not going to stop soon, and it could get bad.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: DUI, alcohol or drugs, resisting without violence, driving with an expired driver's license.
TURNER: At the time, the egg incident looked like real trouble for Bieber. But now, compared to Miami, it barely ranks as a teenage prank.
GREER: This is real life. He has been arrested. He's under police investigation, and he was in tears. I don't think this is Justin Bieber rebranding himself. This is Justin Bieber in trouble with the law.
TURNER: After posting bond, Bieber looked back on top of the world, then posted this to Instagram.
Shirley Halperin remembers the Justin Bieber she interviewed months ago.
HALPERIN: He was incredibly charming and sweet and, you know, well-mannered, the opposite of what we would think of the Justin Bieber who just got arrested in Miami. So, yes, there's a conflict there, and I don't know. Will the real Justin please stand up?