In Interview with the TODAY show, mother of Justin Bieber explains how she was encouraged to abort him

By Dave Andrusko

TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford with Pattie Mallette

Excerpts from an interview that will air on NBC’s TODAY show Tuesday and Wednesday reveal that although Justin Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, was encouraged to abort him when she became pregnant at 17, “I just knew I couldn’t.” In 2011 Bieber himself became embroiled in a controversy over abortion when he announced his opposition in an interview with “Rolling Stone” magazine. (The magazine mangled a follow up quote to make it seem as if Bieber was backing off. He wasn’t, a fact that the magazine sort of subsequently conceded.)

Ms. Mallette was interviewed by Kathie Lee Gifford as part of a discussion on Mallette’s new book, “Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom.” The excerpts appear on a TODAY blog under the headline “Justin Bieber’s mom tells why she chose not to abort at 17.”

In her interview with Gifford, Ms. Mallette talks about an exceedingly difficult childhood in which she was sexual abused.

“The shame was so much Mallette attempted to kill herself,” summarized Courtney Hazlett, writing on a TODAY blog. “She told Gifford that the suicide attempt was ‘a culmination of, you know, built up over the years with the abuse and the pain and at the time I was messed up with all the drugs and alcohol. I was in a depression and the drugs and alcohol kind of spurred that on some more.’”

When she became pregnant with Bieber as a teenager she was encouraged to abort the baby. Hazlett writes

“Of course, Mallette said that was an option she couldn’t consider. ‘I just knew I couldn’t. I just knew I couldn’t. I just know I had to keep him,’ she told Gifford. ‘And, do the best. I — you know, I didn’t know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that I couldn’t — I couldn’t abort. I had to do my best. I had to see what I could do. And I was determined to do whatever it took.’”

Gifford and Mallette have a playful exchange over the first time she heard her son cry. “I know this sounds crazy, but he sounded like he was singing. He did,” she said. Teasingly asked if Bieber was singing Gifford’s music, Mallette laughs and says, “It was like this, like, ‘A hah, a hah.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it is so precious and amazing. I just want to squeeze him.’”

The Examiner provides an excerpt from Bieber talking to Gifford about his mother. Gifford asked, “How much did you know about her early life? It’s hard for me to believe that you’re the age now that she was when she had you.”

Bieber replied, “It is. It is. My mom didn’t really even tell me her story until about two years ago. Because, you know, being young, my mom didn’t feel like I could really take in all those stories and the different things that happened. So she waited till I was a little older. And, you know, I think it’s really special, what my mom’s doing with this book. I think she’s going to be able to change a lot of young people’s lives with this book. So I’m really proud of her.

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