Bieber's mom writes of suicide attempt, sex abuse in memoir
Published Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:18AM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 25, 2012 10:38AM EDT
Justin Bieber’s fans may know every imaginable detail today about his pop star life. But the same cannot be said about his mother, Pattie Mallette.
In her new memoir, “Nowhere but Up,” Bieber’s mother finally turns the spotlight on her past and reveals the sexual abuse, drug addiction and emotional troubles she overcame to reclaim her life and raise her son.
“I had a really tough childhood, but I just know that I really wanted to help other people with this book,” Mallette said on Tuesday on CTV’s Canada AM.
Co-written by A.J. Gregory, “Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom” details the early lifetime events that pushed Mallette towards an attempted suicide at the age of 17.
“I’ve spent most of my adult life sifting through the tangled web of emotional wounds and the debris left by the darkness,” Mallette writes in the book’s opening chapter.
Mallette also writes candidly about the sexual abuse she experienced at the age of four by a family friend. That abuse continued later in her life at the hands of other men.
“For years I was in denial, thinking that sexual abuse didn’t affect me. That denial kept me in pain,” Mallette said on Canada AM.
To drown her emotional pain, Mallette indulged in drugs and alcohol as an underage teenager.
Mallette also battled severe bouts of depression. As a result, she tried to end her life at 17 by throwing herself in front of a movie truck.
Six months later, an 18-year- old Mallette learned that she was pregnant with her son, Justin.
“At the time I was terrified,” said Mallette.
“I was 18. I was pregnant. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. But I just knew that terminating the pregnancy wasn’t an option for me,” she said.
Unable to cope with her daughter any longer, Mallette’s mother refused to allow the young, single mom-to-be to live at home.
Mallette subsequently checked into a home for pregnant girls operated by the Salvation Army in London, Ont.
Recounting her arrival in the book, Mallette writes, “The floodgates opened. Down tumbled tears of shame. Tears of remorse. Tears of fears. Tears of the unknown.”
When her son, Justin, was born on March 1, 1994, Mallette was both elated and terrified by his arrival.
“It was bliss and fear and a lot of responsibility for someone who was a child themselves,” Mallette told Canada AM.
Mallette now credits counselling and her faith in God for turning her life around.
“I think it’s important for me to let people know that I’m a different person now than I was then,” said 36-year-old Mallette.
However, Mallette did worry how her revelations would impact her son.
“Parts of this book were difficult for him to read. But he understands why I did it and he supports me,” said Mallette.
The 18-year-old pop star from Stratford, Ont. showed his staunch support by contributing the foreword to Mallette’s book.
“My mom is the strongest woman I’ve ever met,” Bieber writes.
“I’ve always known it, but this book helped to remind me just how strong she is,” he added.
“I’m proud of my son,” Mallette told Canada AM.
“Thanks to his success, I have a million Twitter followers. I felt I had a responsibility to tell my story,” she said.
Mallette now hopes other troubled teens will find comfort and inspiration.
“I just wanted to get that message of hope out there,” said Mallette.
“If I can get past these things you can, too,” she said.