If any parent still thought Justin Bieber was a good role model for their child, they may be tempted to think again after police raided the singer’s tour bus in Sweden and allegedly found drugs and a stun gun.
The 19-year-old Canadian pop star’s world tour has already seen a pet monkey abandoned in quarantine, a foul-mouthed clash with the paparazzi and crying children upset by the late starts of some of his concerts. But the discoveries by Swedish officers are the most serious episode yet.
According to the Aftonbladet newspaper, police searched Bieber’s tour bus in the car park of Stockholm’s Globe Arena on Wednesday night, just before he went on stage. “A colleague felt a strong smell of marijuana, like someone had been smoking in the bus,” said Lars Byström, a press officer for the Stockholm police department. “We carried out a search and we found a small amount of alleged narcotics. We also found an electro-shock weapon that wasn’t licensed.”
A source in Bieber’s camp told The Independent there were “lots of people” on the bus before the search was carried out. The singer was not present and there was “no specific connection” to him, the source said.
Mr Byström admitted that the police had “no specific suspect” and no charges would be brought. A sample of the alleged drug has been sent to a laboratory for analysis.
Bieber’s world tour has now moved on to Finland, but he took the time to issue an apparent denial to his 38 million Twitter followers, writing: “Some of the rumours about me ... where do people even get this stuff. Whatever ... back to the music.”
This incident, however, is not the first time that tabloid newspapers have made connections between Bieber and marijuana use. Earlier this year, photographs emerged of the singer holding a suspicious-looking cigarette. Later, appearing on the US comedy show Saturday Night Live, he apologised to fans for the incident, although he did it while playing a character in a sketch. “I also heard he got busted for smoking weed,” he said. “And he’s really sorry about it. And people make mistakes. And he’s never gonna do it again.”
Bieber’s image as a clean-living, tween-appropriate pop sensation has taken a battering on the European leg of his latest tour.
Last month, he angered parents by appearing two hours late for a gig at London’s O2 Arena, forcing many to take their children home before he even arrived on stage.
As the media warped the star’s poor timekeeping into an international crisis, an apology was issued, again via Twitter. But just days later, Bieber threatened to “f****** beat the f*** out of” a paparazzi photographer who had shouted insults at the young star through his car window.
Just as people’s rage began to settle, his capuchin monkey Mally was quarantined by customs officials in Munich after his team failed to provide the proper papers for the pet. Emails from his management show they are now looking to place the primate in a zoo or animal shelter.
Earlier this month, Bieber was accused of insensitivity after writing in a guest book at Amsterdam’s Anne Frank Museum that he hoped the young Jewish Holocaust victim “would have been a belieber” – as his young fans describe themselves.
Bieber’s publicity team later said of the comment: “This is an entirely positive situation that someone is trying to turn into a negative.”