Experts are sounding alarms about the behavior of teenage pop star Justin Bieber after the singer was arrested early today in Miami.
"Bieber, 19, was booked at Miami Beach police headquarters early Thursday on charges of driving under the influence, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest ‘without violence,’ according to police records," USA Today reports. "The superstar admitted to having beer, pot and prescription drugs in his system."
Olivia Barker writes in the USA Today piece: "It’s one thing to abandon a dubiously procured pet monkey. Or to urinate in a janitor’s bucket. Or to tag a hotel wall. Or to hurl eggs at a neighbor’s front door — or any of the other sophomoric, so-called ‘antics’ Justin Bieber has been accused of doing of late.
"It’s quite another to drive — indeed, speed — drunk and high. Underage, no less."
Bonnie Fuller, editor in chief of HollywoodLife.com, is quoted in the report saying: "This is definitely his low point. It’s four huge don’ts all wrapped up in one incident."
Fuller adds: "I don’t think you can say, ‘Oh, you know, he’s just 19, just doing teenage antics and if he wasn’t a celebrity nobody would pay attention.’ Most 19-year-old boys are obeying the law. Lots of them underage drink and party, but they don’t get behind the wheel of a car. He’s going beyond the normal stuff that a kid in college is going to do.
"God forbid that he should end up like James Dean."
Jamison Monroe Jr., CEO of the Newport Academy treatment center for teenagers, said Bieber’s downward spiral is "the same story we’ve seen over and over. The child star gets access to power and substances and can get anything he or she wants, including a monkey on a private plane. The star thinks they’re above the law. We see this with affluent kids on a daily basis, kids who think they live by their own set of rules."
Monroe adds: "I think it’s gotten to a point of alarm. We need to take a strong look at it. This is the first time he was actually behind the wheel but if you look at past red flags, this is a culmination of a self-destructive pattern we’ve been seeing for a while."
But could his latest run-in with the law actually work to his advantage? Maybe so.
"Indeed, the fact that the law has finally caught up with the singer could be to his benefit when it comes to attempting a turnaround," Barker writes.
Said Fuller: "That can be a big wake-up call, especially to young person who’s not hardened in any way. He’s not had a bad upbringing, he’s had a good upbringing. He’s had a lot of love in life. He’s had direction."
She adds: "There are a lot people around him who care about him and can intervene. He’s very close to his mother and very close to his father. His management team he’s close to. Will Smith has given him fatherly advice. There are a lot of people who can get through to him and prevent this from going any further."