Justin Bieber: Prison minister warns pop star to lay off drugs

Teen pop star needs to "learn from those who have been down this road before it's too late"

Published 23 January 2014  |  
AP
Justin Bieber has been in the headlines over his behaviour

Former music industry executive and drug addict Marty Angelo has warned teen pop sensation Justin Bieber to stay away from the alcohol and drug-fuelled rock and roll lifestyle.

Mr Angelo worked in the entertainment business from 1965 to 1980 as a television presenter, record promoter, nightclub owner and band manager. He threw himself into the fast paced lifestyle, becoming addicted to drugs in the process.

Angelo was eventually arrested for possession of cocaine and became a Christian before serving a six year prison sentence and turning his life around.

Now an experienced prison minister, he is offering some advice to the 19-year-old pop-star amid conflicting reports about a raid on Bieber's LA home during which police reportedly found evidence of extensive drug abuse.

Law enforcement officials have since denied these claims, though it is not the first time Bieber has found himself at the centre of controversy.  In the past year he had his pet monkey confiscated by German authorities after trying to bring it into the country without the right paperwork and has reportedly been pictured smoking cannabis, visiting strip clubs and drinking alcohol under the US legal drinking age of 21.

Today, Sky News was reporting that the pop star has been arrested for driving under the influence and drag racing in Miami Beach.

"Back in my generation, we wrote the book on abusing drugs and alcohol and many of the friends and colleagues are now dead and gone because of the way we lived. I never thought for a minute my friends, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin would die in 1970s from drug overdoses," writes Angelo in an open letter to Bieber.

"Did I learn from their mistakes? NO! Did I think anything bad would happen to me? NO! However, everything came to an abrupt end for me 10 years later when the cops handcuffed me to a chair in the backyard of my house in Miami. My party was officially over."

Angelo urges Bieber to take heed while he is still young, telling the young star he "still has a lot to learn".

"When I look back to when I was your age I can remember never wanting to listen to anyone who was trying to tell me what I was doing wrong," Angelo says, but warns that falling into a cycle of destruction has significant consequences.

"Abusing drugs will bring you one of three definite consequences: prison, serious hospitalisation, or death. Please learn from those of us who have been down this road before it's too late.

"There is a better way and I hope and pray you quickly find it."

Bieber's mum, Pattie Mallet, who herself struggled with drug addiction as a teenager and is now a committed Christian, has asked that people pray for her son, rather than judge him.

"I think so many people go into the entertainment industry with amazing Christian roots and they get influenced somehow," she said in an interview with The Sun.

"I ask that people keep me and Justin in their minds. I pray for him every day ... If Justin's struggling, don't kick him when he's down or condemn him - pray for him," she urged.

Bieber hinted at his frustration with the constant media attention in a tweet earlier this week in which he shared an Instagram picture of the papparazzi snapping pictures of him on the beach.  He accompanied the tweet with the comment: "This is how I get to enjoy the beach. :("

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