On Sunday, British pay site The Sun posted video of Bieber making a racist joke despite him appearing to know his photographer was rolling and someone in the room warning him not to say the punchline.
JUSTIN BIEBER: "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?"
UNIDENTIFIED PERSON OFF CAMERA: "Don't even say it." (Via TMZ)
While several media outlets have posted various accounts of when Bieber said the joke, TMZ reports it has had a copy of the video for four years and Bieber was 15 at the time.
TMZ says it didn't release the video up to now "in large part because [Bieber] was 15 and immediately told his friends what he did was stupid."
Bieber quickly posted a lengthy apology to Twitter. Part of it 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."
JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC ANCHOR: "He was so much younger then, Willie, than he is now. Justin says he was so much younger then. He is now a man who understands that words have consequences."
KIM SERAFIN, IN TOUCH WEEKLY SENIOR EDITOR: "This is something he did when he was a kid, but it was a racist joke. So really, if you watch the video, you cringe kind of watching it."
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: "The reason why it's so serious, though, is because he uses the N-word."
The latest embarrassment for the now 20-year-old pop star comes on the heels of several run-ins with the law including an assault charge in Toronto from December, a DUI arrest in Miami from January and a woman accusing him last month of trying to steal her cell phone.