Justin Bieber is a pop phenomenon who has millions of adoring fans. But from time-to-time, the popular 18-year-0ld performer dips his toes into the sociopolitical world, commenting on controversial issues of importance like abortion and health care. This week, Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, is following in her son's footsteps.
Rather than tackling issues in a political framework, Mallette is speaking out about her personal experience with sexual abuse, depression and the prospects of abortion. In an interview with "Today" that will air this week, she explains why she opted not to have an abortion and to keep her son.
At the age of 17, Mallette became pregnant with Bieber and was encouraged to have an abortion, but that prospect wasn't palatable to her, she explained.
"I just knew I couldn't. I just knew I couldn't. I just know I had to keep him," she explained. "And, do the best. I -- you know, I didn't know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that I couldn't -- I couldn't abort. I had to do my best. I had to see what I could do. And I was determined to do whatever it took."
Prior to her pregnancy, Mallette faced a variety of serious issues that threatened to destroy her life. Sexual abuse was the catalyst for many of the challenges she faced.
"I've learned it's normal and natural for anybody who's been through sexual abuse to carry that shame and that blame and feel like there's something wrong with you," she told "Today's" Kathie Lee Gifford. "So I definitely carried that."
This shame had potentially life-threatening consequences, as Mallette detailed how she once attempted to take her own life -- an experience she said 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 described drugs and alcohol as exacerbating her depression and helping to create a scenario that led to her suicide attempt. These issues are also detailed in Mallette's new book, "Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom."
The full interview will air this week on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mallette's son first caught attention for his own statements about abortion back in February 2011. Considering his pro-life stance, it's very possible that his mother's own experience has colored his views. As TheBlaze previously reported, Bieber told Rolling Stone magazine that he doesn't "believe in abortion" and that it's "like killing a baby."
When Rolling Stone pressed him about how to handle cases of pregnancies resulting from rape, Bieber admitted while the situation would be “really sad,” he doesn’t see that as a reasonable excuse to have an abortion. “Everything happens for a reason,” he said. “I don’t know how that would be a reason. I guess I haven’t been in that position, so I wouldn’t be able to judge that.”