“Our relationship is more man-to-man now,” the former The Voice judge tells Billboard. “He’s making his own decisions and it’s important to show support. I can say I’m not happy with all the choices my friend has made, but I’m supportive of him. I try my hardest to give as much positive reinforcement as I can. I’ll punch him in the f—ing chest when I need to, and give him a hug and kiss when I need to. It’s more than just mentoring. I love the kid.”
Indeed, throughout the past year, the Biebs can’t seem to stop getting in trouble. He started the year out with an arrest for DUI, and has since had several run-ins with law enforcement, mostly due to complaints from his neighbors for partying. Besides that, the 20-year-old has become a bit of a player, being linked to multiple models, and somehow always ending up back with his on-again off-again girlfriend, Selena Gomez.
This isn’t the first time Usher has come to Justin’s defense, either. Earlier this year, a video surfaced of the “Baby” singer saying the “n-word,” and his mentor defended him saying, “As I have watched Justin Bieber navigate difficult waters as a young man, I can tell you that he hasn’t always chosen the path of his greatest potential, but he is unequivocally not a racist. What he is now is a young man with the opportunity to become his best self, an example to the millions of kids who follow him not to make the same mistakes.”