Bieber is one of several rich, young and famous in trouble
Stars including Lindsay Lohan and Chris Brown have also faced similar problems
Former child star Danny Bonaduce says arrest may be a good thing
A rich kid gets pulled over driving a yellow Lamborghini in Miami Beach by police and arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence while allegedly street racing. It happens, but when it happens to Justin Bieber, it’s beyond a big deal.
The teen idol is just the latest young star to run afoul of both the police and public relations folks. But is it to be expected when a teen has both fame and access to so much wealth?
Tons of young stars with more money than years behind them have run into such troubles before. For many, standing on the precipice of adulthood or just over that line, has appeared to trigger a spate of issues
In recent years, Lindsay Lohan, Chris Brown and Amanda Bynes have dominated headlines with legal issues and rehab stints.
“These kids don’t have their identities set and no one says ‘no,’” said Sherrie Campbell, a psychologist and author of the book, “Loving Yourself: The Mastery of Being Your Own Person.”
“These kids get all this money and they stop feeling themselves so they act out and they act out until they get in trouble, almost in that they have to lose everything in order to experience what they have,” she said.
Bieber has had both.
According to Forbes, as of June 2013 the 19-year-old had earnings of $58 million. Since being discovered on YouTube in 2008, the singer had enjoyed an almost squeaky clean image until last year.
Then the dogs from bad publicity hell were unleashed.
From being accused of public urination to rumors of a visit to a Brazilian brothel and the run-ins with police (authorities recently swarmed his mansion is Calabasas, California, as part of a vandalism investigation), Bieber spent most of 2013 in the news for alleged bad behavior.
His musical mentor Usher Raymond, a former teen star himself, told MTV in December 2013 that his young protege was experiencing the pains of growing up in the spotlight.
“With success comes great responsibility. And being able to grow up in it and unfortunately be analyzed in front of the world for just growing up, I think they will be able to see the truth,” Usher said. “And they can make an assessment based off of what his reality looks like.”
Lately, Bieber’s reality is not looking so great.
Former child star Danny Bonaduce said on his Seattle radio show on KZOK-FM Thursday that Bieber’s recent arrest could be just what the embattled teen star needs right now.
“This is the best thing that could have happened to him,” said Bonaduce, who in the past has struggled with addiction and legal troubles. “Speaking from personal experience, this could save his life.”
Some of his fellow celebrities have condemned his behavior while others have offered support. Psychologist Sherrie Campbell pointed out that “fame is its own addiction” and said celebs are often under the pressure of the public’s expectations.
“I think sometimes these stars think they have to live up to their own image to the point that they almost becomes fans of their own image,” she said.
For some young celebs, that type of skid is almost a rite of passage at this point. Britney Spears went from pop princess to investigated mother when in 2006 she was videotaped driving with her then-infant son Sean in her lap. A deputy was sent to Spears’ home to investigate, though no charges resulted from the incident.
What followed was a year of outrageous behavior including the infamous hair shaving incident, and Spears’ father being awarded conservatorship over her fortune. Since then, Spears has managed to turn her life around, bagged a gig as a judge on “The X Factor” for a season, as well as a new boyfriend, album and Las Vegas residency.
Other celebs have not bounced back as well as Spears.
Lindsay Lohan recently announced she will be starring in and producing a new film, and there’s a six-episode documentary series on the way. But her last film bombed and her career is nowhere near what it once was. Likewise, Chris Brown’s reputation has never fully recovered from his 2009 arrest following the attack on then-girlfriend Rihanna just before the Grammys. In October 2013, Brown was arrested in Washington on suspicion of punching a man, and then he was kicked out of a rehab facility for “acting violently.”
Now Bieber finds himself a member of the club of Hollywood’s young, rich and infamous whose mugshots join their paparazzi shots. His being accused of drag racing in a sports car comes just months after an outpouring of sorrow for “Fast & Furious” star Paul Walker, who died in a crash where speed was a factor.
It remains to be seen what the singer’s response will be to his latest troubles. In the past, he has been less than repentant, telling The Hollywood Reporter in November about those who criticize his behavior, “I don’t give a f***.”
“Not ‘I don’t give a f***’ to just be reckless and do whatever, but ‘I don’t give a f*** what they say,” Bieber reportedly said.