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

    New EU Asylum Rules Could Boost Rightists

    New regulations will seek to correct EU failures in dealing with migrant crisis, most notably inability to get member states to absorb a total of 160,000 refugees

    More Political Turmoil Likely in Iraq as Iran Waits in the Wings

    Analysts warn that Tehran, even though it may not be engineering the Sadrist protests in Baghdad, is seeking to leverage its influence on its neighbor

    Goodbye Ketchup, Hello Sriracha!

    How immigrants are triggering a great transformation in American cuisine

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Rulingi
    X
    May 03, 2016 5:16 PM
    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Border Crossings: Bannersi
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 04, 2016 1:07 PM
    Singer and Songwriter, Michael Nelson better known as "Banners" sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London in Studio 4 to talk and perform songs from his debut self titled EP.

    Singer and Songwriter, Michael Nelson better known as "Banners" sits down with Border Crossings host Larry London in Studio 4 to talk and perform songs from his debut self titled EP.