Bieber faints back­stage, at­tacks pa­parazzi

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - By Cassandra Vinograd and Jill Lawless

LON­DON — Justin Bieber’s week just got worse.

Fol­low­ing a brief hospi­tal stay af­ter faint­ing back­stage, the 19-year-old pop star’s prepa­ra­tion for a fi­nal con­cert in Lon­don on Fri­day hit a speed bump.

Bieber got into an al­ter­ca­tion with in­sult-hurl­ing pa­parazzi, lash­ing out at a pho­tog­ra­pher with a stream of ex­ple­tives as he was re­strained by min­ders.

The singer quickly took to Twit­ter to ad­dress the in­ci­dent, which was cap­tured by Chan­nel 5 news, and pledged to chan­nel his “adren­a­line” into his Fri­day show.

“Ah­h­hhh! Rough morn­ing. Try­ing to feel bet­ter for this show tonight but let the paps get the best of me,” he posted on the so­cial net­work­ing site.

“Some­times when peo­ple r shov­ing cam­eras in your face all day and yelling the worst thing pos­si­ble at u...well I’m hu­man. Rough week.”

The scuf­fle came just hours af­ter Bieber said he was “get­ting bet­ter” af­ter strug­gling to breathe dur­ing the pre­vi­ous night’s con­cert at the O2 Arena, and pledged the show would go on as planned.

A spokesman for the O2 Arena said the 19-year-old pop star was treated back­stage dur­ing Thurs­day’s con­cert af­ter be­com­ing short of breath, but re­cov­ered and fin­ished his set.

“As far as we are con­cerned ev­ery­thing is on, on, on” for Fri­day’s show, Jeremy King said.

“He was treated by our team of medics and af­ter fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion they didn’t find any­thing more se­ri­ous or wor­ry­ing.”

A spokes­woman for Bieber said he was re­cov­er­ing af­ter Thurs­day’s in­ci­dent, which saw him given oxy­gen be­fore re­turn­ing to the stage.

“Justin has been re­leased from the hospi­tal af­ter a checkup and, while he’s feel­ing a lit­tle un­der the weather, he’s cur­rently plan­ning on go­ing ahead with tonight’s show,” the spokes­woman said Fri­day. She de­manded anonymity to dis­cuss the star’s con­di­tion.

Bieber later posted a shirt­less photo of him­self in a hospi­tal bed, say­ing he was get­ting bet­ter and lis­ten­ing to Ja­nis Jo­plin. Be­fore that on Twit­ter he thanked “ev­ery­one pulling me thru tonight.”

“Best fans in the world,” he wrote. “Fig­ur­ing out what hap­pened. Thanks for the love.”

Video footage from the con­cert shows Bieber ap­pear­ing to fade dur­ing a per­for­mance of his up-tempo hit, Beauty and a Beat. He slows down, puts a hand to his head then bends over, rest­ing his hands on knees be­fore walking slowly to the back of the stage.

The AP spoke to 18-year-old jour­nal­ism stu­dent Prithvi Pandya, who shot the footage, to con­firm its au­then­tic­ity.

“When he started Beauty and a Beat you could see he was strug­gling,” said Pandya, who was near the front of the crowd. “He took lots of drinks of water, that seemed un­usual, and he was really sweaty, sweat­ing a hel­luva lot.

“To­ward the end of it, he went back­stage. We didn’t see him faint­ing. They brought on dancers to en­ter­tain, and I knew some­thing was wrong at that point.”

Bieber’s man­ager, Scooter Braun, ap­peared on­stage and told the crowd that the singer was feel­ing “very low of breath” but would come back to fin­ish the show.

Jazz Chap­pell, a 20-year-old con­cert­goer, said that in the nearly 30 min­utes he was off­stage, some fans started to leave. Once his man­ager an­nounced what had hap­pened, Chap­pell said many fans in the au­di­ence were gasp­ing and cry­ing, while oth­ers kept cheer­ing for him to re­turn.

The in­ci­dent caps a dif­fi­cult week for Bieber. He was forced to apol­o­gize to out­raged fans who ac­cused him of tak­ing the stage al­most two hours late for his first con­cert at the O2 on Mon­day. He in­sisted he was only 40 min­utes late and blamed “tech­ni­cal is­sues.” He took to Twit­ter to vent his frus­tra­tions with the me­dia’s por­trayal of the in­ci­dent.

Bieber per­forms in Lon­don on Mon­day.

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