“There was a time when I would go to sleep almost every night — when he had the money to fly away from me — and I was worried every night that I was gonna lose him,” Braun, 37, told Van Lathan’s “The Red Pill” podcast this week. “That was the time when I was telling him he’s not allowed to work. He used to yell and scream at me and he wanted to put music out. He wanted to tour, but I thought if he did that, he would die. So I just refused. We weren’t making any money, it wasn’t like I was trying to take advantage — I didn’t want him to work, I wanted him to get healthy.”
Bieber, 24, abruptly canceled the remainder of his Purpose world tour in summer 2017 at Braun’s behest. The music manager said at the time that the singer’s “soul and well being … came first.”
“I thought he was going to die,” Braun insisted. “I thought he was going to sleep one night and that he would have so much crap in his system that he would not wake up the next morning. I was trying to monitor him from a distance, I would fly after him at times, all kinds of different stuff.”
Braun also reiterated that he attended Al-Anon meetings to support the Canadian crooner, but declined to accept credit for Bieber’s recovery.
“I think that he made a conscious choice for himself to change. For a year and a half, I failed miserably trying to help him because for a year and a half he didn’t change, and I made every effort you can imagine,” he said.
“It wasn’t until one day he woke up and said, ‘Hey, I need to talk to you. I don’t want to be this person anymore.’ And he made the decision to change, and actually put that into action, and the result is who he’s become today, and that is the result of his own decision, no one else’s.”
Braun didn’t specify what substances Bieber struggled with, if any, besides alcohol, but hinted that the pressures of fame, as well as fan worship from his devoted Beliebers, led him to a “dark place” where he lost himself and didn’t feel like he had any purpose.
“I think Justin is an extraordinary young man who’s been given an extraordinary life, and because of that he cannot complain that he’s held to extraordinary standards. He used to complain, he used to fight it, and that’s kind of what got him into a dark place,” he continued.
“But when he accepted his responsibility and took a long, hard look at himself and not what everyone else was doing, that’s when he owned it and he got healthy, and he made the choice to change.”