2014: A year of Bieber behaving badly
TORONTO — With apologies to Charles Dickens, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times in 2014 for Canada’s Justin Bieber.
The Ontario-born pop star’s annus horribilis started with being accused of vandalising his California neighbour’s house by chucking eggs.
Police raided the singer’s mansion seeking evidence but Bieber wasn’t arrested. He was later charged with misdemeanour vandalism — to which he pleaded guilty in July. Bieber was ordered to perform five days of community service, attend a 12-week anger management program and pay restitution.
Only days later, the wee pop star was arrested in the wee hours of the morning in Miami Beach. He was accused of racing a rented 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo while under the influence and then resisting arrest.
(In August, Bieber pleaded guilty to careless driving and resisting arrest and agreed to attend anger management counselling and donate to a youth charity.)
The judge urged Bieber “to get the message and grow up.”
BELOW: Justin Bieber gives urine sample at police station.
In late January, Bieber caused a frenzy outside a Toronto Police station when he showed up to be charged with assault following an alleged altercation a month earlier with a limo driver.
The assault charge was dropped in September when prosecutors decided there was not enough evidence.
MORE: Year in review
In February, pilots on a private jet transporting Bieber and his father to the Super Bowl reported having to wear oxygen masks to avoid marijuana smoke.
BELOW: Justin Bieber allegedly smoked pot on private jet.
Bieber made headlines again in April when he posted a photo online showing him visiting Japan’s Yakukuni war shrine — which many in China and South Korea regard as a symbol of Japanese militarism. He deleted the image and apologized. “I was mislead to think the shrines were only a place of prayer,” he explained.
Back in the U.S. in May, Bieber was investigated in connection to an alleged attempted robbery. According to police, the singer tried to take a phone from a girl he believed was taking photos of him. No charges were filed.
A month later, video surfaced of Bieber telling a racist joke five years ago. He issued a statement claiming he didn’t fully understand “the power of certain words and how they can hurt” when he was younger.
In another video, Bieber used the N-word and said “I’ll be part of the KKK.”
He called it a “childish and inexcusable mistake.”
BELOW: Justin Bieber apologizes for racist joke.
Bieber was back in the news only days later when a man sued him, claiming the pop star struck him with his Ferrari outside a Hollywood nightclub last year.
In July, the singer had an altercation with actor Orlando Bloom at an Ibiza nightclub, reportedly after Bieber made a rude comment about Bloom’s ex, model Miranda Kerr.
In August, a paparazzo sued Bieber and one of his bodyguards, alleging an assault on a beach in Hawaii last year.
At the end of August, Bieber brought on-again, off-again girlfriend Selena Gomez home to Ontario — and ended up in hot water.
During an outing on an all terrain vehicle, Bieber allegedly got into an altercation with photographers Todd Gillis and Sean O’Neill. The singer was charged with assault and dangerous driving.
The case remains open.
BELOW: Justin Bieber charged with assault and dangerous driving
Only weeks later, Bieber was booed as he stripped to his underwear during an appearance on Fashion Rocks.
(Did we forget to mention there were boos in March when Bieber’s name was read out at the Juno Awards in Winnipeg?)
Also in September, Bieber “busted” an eardrum after jumping off a cliff.
“Doc says might need surgery now,” he tweeted. “Sucks.”
In November, a judge in Argentina threatened to issue an arrest warrant for Bieber if he didn’t make himself available for questioning in an investigation into the alleged assault of a photographer in 2013.
Bieber’s year ended with news that he lost a whopping 3.5 million followers on Instagram, after the social media company purged fake and spam accounts. With just over 20 million followers, he is now the third-most-followed person on Instagram behind Kim Kardashian and Beyonce.
BELOW: Justin Bieber gives flippant deposition.
Bieber is likely not too worried, though. He’s ending 2014 with around 58 million followers on Twitter.
In fact, despite all his highly publicized lows in 2014, Bieber continues to rake it in.
He was ranked the 33rd most powerful celebrity by Forbes in June, included on Billboard‘s list of the top 21 under 21 in September, won Best Male at the MTV European Music Awards in November, and topped the Forbes list of highest-earning entertainers under 30.
Not everyone was a fan in 2014, of course.
Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney told Rolling Stone in May: “I don’t dislike his music. I don’t listen to his music, but he needs to not conduct himself that way. Like, really, you make millions of dollars playing music, you should feel … lucky.”
And Bieber’s fellow Canadian star Seth Rogen called him a “d**k” in a radio interview.
BELOW: Judge urges Justin Bieber to “grow up.”
Earlier in the year, Rogen said: “In my opinion, Justin Bieber is a piece of s**t. He seems like he’s obnoxious and ungrateful, insincere, and he puts people’s lives at danger and overall he acts like a piece of s**t.”
And Judge Judy’s verdict?
“Being a celebrity is a gift. You can either treat it reverently or you can make a fool out of yourself,” she said in February. “And he’s doing a very good job of making a fool out of himself.”
© 2014 Shaw Media