Justin Bieber’s mother, Patricia “Pattie” Mallette, was pregnant with the pop superstar when she was just 17-years-old and living in a home for pregnant girls. Mallette opened up about her traumatic childhood and the events that led to her pregnancy and Bieber’s birth in her book Nowhere but Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom, which was published in 2012.
A new docu-series on Bieber’s life, titled Justin Bieber: Seasons, airs Monday, January 27 at 12 p.m. EST/11 a.m. CST, and will feature interviews with Bieber’s closest friends, family and collaborators. Here’s what you need to know about his mother ahead of Monday’s premiere:
Mallette Was Sexually Assaulted as a Child & Dealt With Years of Drug & Alcohol Abuse
In Nowhere by Up, Mallette highlighted the years of unrelenting sexual abuse she dealt with before she gave birth to Bieber. Malette was sexually assaulted by a male babysitter and a friend’s grandfather for years growing up; although she never named her abusers outright, she said the abuse was so common that it began to feel normal.
“I was sexually violated so many times that as the years went by it began to feel normal,” Mallette wrote in her book. “It’s a strange marriage—knowing something is wrong yet at the same time finding it familiar and commonplace.”
Her traumatic childhood quickly led to an early life of drug and alcohol abuse, depression and an attempted suicide shortly before she found out she was pregnant with her son. She admitted in her book that the sexual abuse she was subjected to directly related to her substance abuse problems as a teen, according to Cosmopolitan.
“I’ve learned it’s normal and natural for anybody who’s been through sexual abuse to carry that shame and that blame and feel like there’s something wrong with you,” she said of her past. “So I definitely carried that.”
She Was Pressured to Abort Bieber When She Found Out She Was Pregnant
Mallette had a toxic, on-again-off-again relationship with Bieber’s father Jeremy Bieber for several years before she got pregnant. Although she was living in a home for pregnant teens and was being pressured by those around her to get an abortion, she told Today that she just couldn’t do it.
“I just knew I couldn’t. I just knew I had to keep him,” she told Today. “But I just knew that I couldn’t abort. I had to do my best, and I was determined to do whatever it took.”
After she gave birth to Bieber, Mallette was no longer able to return home, so she applied for government assistance and worked several part-time jobs to support her son and buy diapers. According to Fox News, with the help of a neighbor who paid for a year’s worth of daycare for Bieber, Mallette was able to go back to school, earn her high school diploma, and take college training courses in website design.
Bieber’s Talent Surfaced Early & He Helped Earn Money as a Street Busker
Bieber’s musical talent surfaced early and he helped earned extra money as a busker on guitar and a djembe drum he had received as a gift, according to Fox. Mallette said she never forced him to sing on the streets for money and that he did it on his own for fun when he was just 6-years-old.
However, his talent started earning him thousands of dollars on the street, and after Mallette started uploading videos of Bieber to YouTube for distant relatives to enjoy, he was eventually discovered and signed by manager Scooter Braun, who helped Bieber launch his career at just 13-years-old.
Tune in Monday and Wednesday afternoons at 12 p.m. EST to catch new episodes of Justin Bieber: Seasons on YouTube. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out this author’s profile for all of your TV coverage and entertainment news!