Justin Bieber has made a swift apology following the leak of a sensational video which showed him telling a vile racist joke at age 15.
The pop brat, 20, said late Sunday he’d make the comment as a “kid” — a time when he “didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt.”
“Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and i’m grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man,” the “Boyfriend” singer told RadarOnline.com in a statement.
As Radar previously reported, Bieber was caught red-handed on video telling the tasteless joke to pals.
“Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?” he asks an unidentified female friend in the tape, believed to have beentaken when the star was 17.
“Don’t even say it,” warns a male pal off-camera.
“Run, n***er, n***er, n***er, n***er!” Bieber says, hysterically laughing at his own joke.
According to the U.K. tabloid The Sun, Bieber’s team attempted to keep the offensive video under wraps — but apparently failed to do so.
Bieber’s statement in full read:
As a kid, I didn’t understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was ok to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn’t realize at the time that it wasn’t funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance. Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs. Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all those I have offended. I’m very sorry. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake. I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again. Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what’s right. Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and i’m grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again….I’m sorry.