Justin Bieber's Mom Pattie Mallette: I Was Sexually Abused

Celebrity News Sep. 18, 2012 AT 7:30PM
Justin Bieber and mother Pattie Mallette attend the CMT Music Awards on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee.  Justin Bieber and mother Pattie Mallette attend the CMT Music Awards on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. Credit: Rick Diamond/Getty

Justin Bieber's millions of fans are fully aware of the teen pop phenom's humble beginnings as a young Canadian YouTube sensation, and now, thanks to a new memoir they are learning a little bit more about his mother, Pattie Mallette.

Penning her own memoir, Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom, Mallette, 36, promoted her new book during a Tuesday interview with TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford, and opened up about her life as a struggling single mom who lost her virginity at age 15 became pregnant at 17.

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Surviving a suicide attempt in her teens after being sexually abused, Mallette told Gifford she had a spiritual awakening when she was visited by a Christian counselor in a psychiatric ward during her recovery. "I just knew I couldn't [abort it]. I just knew I couldn't," Mallette -- who was "messed up" on drugs and alcohol at the time she tried to take her own life -- said. "I just know I had to keep him," she told Gifford. "I didn't know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that 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."

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Abuse survivor Mallette was inspired to tell her story so young girls -- many of whom are fans of her son -- can relate to her struggle, and calls the writing process cathartic.

"I pretty much bared my soul. It definitely furthered my healing process," she says of penning Nowhere But Up. "Justin's really supportive, and really proud of me."

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