Scooter Braun on Justin Bieber’s Struggles: ‘It Was Worse Than People Realized’

Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber
Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber attend the World Premiere of “Ed Sheeran: Jumpers For Goalposts” at Odeon Leicester Square on October 22, 2015 in London, England David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

Scooter Braun has opened up about helping Justin Bieber overcome his struggles. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Braun revealed that Bieber’s breakdown at the start of 2014 when he was arrested for drinking under the influence, was a lot worse than the public knew.

“It was worse than people realized,” Braun admitted in the interview published on Thursday, September 28. “I failed him day after day. We were living in hell because he was in such a dark place.” Braun, 36, said that though they both have privileged lives, it was easy to see that the “Sorry” singer, 23, was experiencing something serious. He said: “I have inconveniences, and other people have problems. Mine feel important, but they’re not. They’re not life or death. Justin’s stuff got to a point where it was a problem.”

Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber
Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber attend the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival at NYU Paulson Auditorium on April 27, 2012 in New York City. Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

“Our relationship really struggled, but I started to learn things that made me a better man. When the time came and Justin needed the resources to get back on track, I wanted to make sure I was a rock and someone he could turn to,” the business man said, revealing he started going to Al-Anon meetings at the time.

After discovering the Canadian singer on YouTube when he was just a child, Braun felt a responsibility to not only make him successful, but to also keep him safe. “Some of the biggest people in the industry, people invested in Justin’s career, told me, ‘It’s over. Focus on something else. That kid is done,’” the talent manager said. “I made a promise to him when he was 13 that I would never give up on him. I plan on keeping that promise.”

Since the time of Bieber’s downward spiral in 2014, which included photos of him urinating in a bucket at a restaurant and reports of drug use, Braun orchestrated a major comeback for the singer that started with a roast on Comedy Central as well as the release of his hit album, Purpose. “He’s family. I think the relationship is more like a big brother, especially because he’s become a man,” Braun said. “I think he’s seen the worst of himself, and to watch him rise out of it was amazing.”

Bieber returned the favor and also sang his longtime manager and friend’s praises in an email to the publication. The “Despacito” singer said, “He’s great at what he does. But more than that, I am proud of what a good man he is.”

He concluded: “He changed my life. He is the best in the business.”

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