News / Arts & Entertainment

    In Double Legal Trouble, Bieber Tests Positive for Pot, Meds

    Pop singer Justin Bieber arrives at a police station in Toronto, Jan. 29, 2014.
    Pop singer Justin Bieber arrives at a police station in Toronto, Jan. 29, 2014.
    Reuters
    Teen pop star Justin Bieber, facing charges in the United States and Canada, had pot and anti-anxiety medication in his system when arrested in Florida last week but told police his mother “takes care” of his prescriptions, according to official reports released Thursday.
     
    Bieber was charged late on Wednesday with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto and the Toronto Star newspaper reported Thursday that the driver in the alleged assault in December quit his job “in shock” following the incident.
     
    As his legal troubles mounted, camera crews and fans were camped outside a downtown Toronto hotel where they thought the 19-year-old Canadian was holed up. He made no appearances and his representatives declined to comment.
     
    The doe-eyed “Boyfriend” singer has had a turbulent year with scuffles with paparazzi in London and a felony investigation into whether he pelted a neighbor's house with eggs. The charges over the last week now put Bieber at risk of serving jail time.
     
    On Thursday, a report by the Miami-Dade Office of the State Attorney said Bieber had marijuana and prescription medication for anxiety in his system when he was arrested in Miami Beach.
     
    The preliminary report did not detail the amount of marijuana and alprazolam, better known as the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, that Bieber had in his system. Police have said he failed a field sobriety test after they had caught him allegedly drag racing on Jan. 23.
     
    Bieber has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired license. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail, although a maximum penalty is unlikely because it would be his first offense.
     
    The singer, who is under the U.S. legal drinking age of 21, also had a minimal amount of alcohol in his system but had difficulty performing a breathalyzer test, police said in an affidavit.
     
    Bieber also said he did not know what kind of anxiety medication he'd taken as he did not know what he was prescribed.
     
    “Well, my mom takes care of all that stuff for me,” Bieber told police, according to the affidavit.
     
    In the field sobriety test report, police said that Bieber had the odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot eyes and a flushed face. His attitude was profane, insulting and cocky.
     
    Bieber's highest blood-alcohol content during the four tests administered was 0.014, below the 0.02 legal limit for those under 21 in Florida. The limit for drivers 21 and over is 0.08.
     
    Police said Bieber “continuously forgot basic instructions,” and they believed he was purposefully not taking the test correctly. He performed the breathalyzer exam correctly only after police told him he would lose his license if he “refused” the test, according to the affidavit.
     
    When told he “reeked” of marijuana, Bieber said: “Yeah, we were smoking all night at the studio.”
     
    Limo Driver 'Assaulted in the Head'
     
    The Toronto assault charge stems from an incident in the early hours of Dec. 30 when Bieber and five others were picked up outside a Toronto nightclub. His Canadian lawyer said in a statement that Bieber is innocent.
     
    Police alleged the driver was struck on the back of the head several times on the way to a hotel. Bieber left the scene before police arrived, they alleged in a statement.
     
    Tony Albert, the manager of Park Lane Livery limousines, which operated the limo, told the Toronto Star the driver quit his job shortly after the incident.
     
    The driver is “in shock. Something like this does not happen in Toronto,” Albert told the newspaper. He declined to disclose his identity on the advice of legal counsel.
     
    An employee at the company told Reuters that Albert was not immediately available to confirm the report.
     
    “We do club runs every weekend in Toronto - even with the drunkies we never faced this kind of problem, the driver getting physically assaulted in the head,” he said.
     
    Bieber was charged after appearing at a Toronto police station late Wednesday, arriving in a black SUV and met by a crowd of journalists and screaming fans.
     
    An assault conviction in Canada has a maximum sentence of five years, but experts doubted the maximum would be imposed.
     
    Bieber's legal team said they expect the matter will be treated as a summary offense, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States.
     
    The singer had at least one defender on Thursday who knows something about negative attention: fellow Canadian and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
     
    Ford, who has become a staple of late-night comics since he admitted in November that he had smoked crack cocaine while in a “drunken stupor,” defended Bieber on Thursday during an interview on a Washington, D.C., radio show called Sports Junkies.
     
    “Well, you know what, he's a young guy,” said Ford. “He's 19 years old, guys. Think back to when you were 19.”

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures