Justin Bieber claims facing up to a video in which he used a racial slur is one of the “hardest things” he’s ever done.
The 20-year-old singer has caused widespread outrage this week after footage of him using the n-word in two videos was made public. In the first he told a racist joke, while in the second he was heard changing the lyrics to his track One Less Lonely Girl to include the offensive word. He was also seen joking about killing black people and being a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
“I need to step up and own what I did,” he told British newspaper The Sun in an exclusive interview.
“Facing my mistakes from years ago has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with.
“But I feel now that I need to take responsibility for those mistakes and not let them linger.”
The newspaper was the first to report the existence of the second video, which has since been posted on TMZ.
In the footage, a younger Justin uses the n-word six times in 24 seconds and is seen laughing and joking while doing so. “One less lonely n*****. If I kill you, I’ll be part of the KKK, and there’ll be one less lonely n*****,” he is heard singing.
Justin is taking full responsibility for his actions and posted a lengthy apology on Twitter when the first video came to light. He is now hoping his fans will find a way to forgive him.
“I just hope that the next 14-year-old kid who doesn’t understand the power of these words does not make the same mistakes I made years ago,” he said.
“At the end of the day I just need to step up and own what I did.
“Once again, I am sorry for all those I have let down and offended.”
The latest footage was taken when the singer was 14, with the star’s team telling TMZ he is ready for the clip to be seen as he knows he has to “own” his actions. It’s claimed he made the footage after seeing a comedian do something similar with his music. He is also said to have told his mentors Will Smith and Usher about the videos because he realised what a mistake he’d made. Usher – who discovered the Canadian star – immediately made him watch racist clips from years ago to show the horror of what some people had to go through.