So what's precipitating these shenanigans? "I think his moments of anger come from his resentment towards the ridicule [and] of being judged for things, which a lot of times he hasn't even done," says Braun. Spitting on his fans (as he did from a Toronto hotel balcony in July)? "Justin was playing the loogie game with his friends over the freaking porch! They put two separate pictures together, implied something, and the whole world ran with it."
Uh, back that scooter up Mr. Braun and explain to me why a 19-year-old plays the loogie game. Because to me that doesn't clear ANYTHING up. "Oh Justin was just playing the pooping game where he and his friends take turns pooping off the hotel roof. It's not his fault that some blog tried to turn that into a scandal.. ugh, you guys have NO idea how hard it for him to do normal teenage things."
Now, Bieber and Smith have a weekly call to go over any potential issues, emotional or otherwise. (Scientology is "never discussed," says Braun.) At the same time, Braun adds of Smith, "He's telling me: 'Justin's got to go through it. You can't stop him from going through it. That's youth in itself. He's a young man who's growing up, and that's what makes him interesting and relatable. Otherwise, he'd be some kind of weird robot."
Nope, nope, nope, nope. Oh also, nope. Not only is Will "self-proclaimed cool dad" Smith a horrible choice for a mentor, but he's also an all-around idiot. Showing up late to his own concerts and blowing off fans doesn't make Bieber interesting and relatable, it makes him an irresponsible jackass. Also, let it be known that the opposite of Justin Bieber is not a "weird robot." It's a normally functioning human being. Period.
Pastor Smith, who has maintained a steady presence in Bieber's life, traveling as far as South Africa and Australia to help him "not get discouraged or despondent because of perceived failures," sees the pop star as misunderstood.
Yes, yes, would hate to see young Master Bieber getting discouraged by all the haters out there. And by haters, I mean the authorities in Brazil who would like to speak to him about committing a crime. Also, pray tell Pastor Smith, exactly how are we misunderstanding Justin Bieber here? Was that abandoned monkey actually a thank you gift to Germany? Or what? Was there something else we misunderstood this year? (Please say Anne Frank, I dare you to say Anne Frank.)
And he'd likely be the first to admit that he's walled himself off to the world after being burned one too many times by hangers-on who sell him out for a quick buck. The video of him peeing into the mop bucket netted a "so-called friend $40,000 10 months later," snaps Braun.
Ugh friends are the worst when they sell footage of you doing despicable things to the media. "But," you might say, "how about not doing horrible things that friends can sell to the media." To which I would say, that would make him a weird robot. And then who could relate to him? Normals? G-R-O-S-S.
Today, Braun admits it's a different dynamic. "When I try to do that now, he's resentful, he pushes away and rebels," says Braun. "What I've come to learn is: Be there, give the best advice you can, but he has to be allowed to make his own decisions — and his own mistakes."
Even Big Bro Braun's starting to struggle with the fact that he's created a monster. Which (sadly, I know) makes me all too happy. "You reap what you sow," I think the Pastor might say about the situation…in a morning text to Justin Bieber.
"Fittingly enough: One of the most off-the-cuff and real scenes in Believe involves director Chu asking Bieber if anyone's ever told him "no." The teen pauses for a minute to think, then answers with a smile: "No," as the room explodes in laughter.
And then, what the interview fails to mention, is that the laughter turns into screams of horror as Satan emerges from the underworld "My work here is done," he cackles as he winks at Justin Bieber and kisses Scooter Braun on the lips, "my work here is definitely done."
(Cover: The Hollywood Reporter)