Liam Payne has said that Justin Bieber deserves “a little more respect” over his open and honest post about his struggles with fame.
Bieber wrote a candid message on Instagram about the pitfalls of celebrity, in which he said fame went to his head and by the age of 20 he had “made every bad decision”, including being involved with drugs.
The Sorry singer’s post went viral and received a lot of attention from fans and other stars, but Payne criticised the focus on Bieber’s admission to drug use in the lengthy message.
The One Direction star posted a screengrab of a trending piece on Twitter that said: “Justin Bieber admits to ‘heavy’ drug use and his struggles with fame in candid post.”
Payne wrote: “So this is the one thing the worlds media picks up on after all he said …? Can anyone else see the problem here?
“@justinbieber I think what you did yesterday was incredibly brave and you deserve a little more respect.”
Bieber, 25, had told his 118 million Instagram followers: “I started doing pretty heavy drugs at 19 and abused all of my relationships. I became resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry.
“I became distant to everyone who loved me, and I was hiding behind, a shell of a person that I had become. I felt like I could never turn it around.
“It’s taken me years to bounce back from all these terrible decisions, fix broken relationships, and change relationship habits. Luckily god blessed me with extraordinary people who love me for me.”
Bieber, who rose to global stardom after being scouted on YouTube by talent manager Scooter Braun, said his “whole world was flipped on its head” when his career first took off and he went from a “13 year old boy from a small town to being praised left and right by the world”.
“You hear these things enough as a young boy and you actually start believing it”, he added. Bieber said finding fame at such a young age left him incapable of dealing with the real world.
He said: “Everyone did everything for me, so I never even learned the fundamentals of responsibility. By this point, I was 18 with no skills in the real world, with millions of dollars and access to whatever I wanted.”
The singer, who married model Hailey Baldwin last year, said he was now “navigating the best season of my life” with his marriage.