After suspicious weed photos hit the Internet, pop star Justin Bieber is scrambling to repair his image.
TMZ recently published photos showing Bieber celebrating the New Year by smoking grass and partying with his closest friends. The photos were reportedly taken at a Newport Beach hotel room. Lil Twist, Bieber's best bud, was also present at the party, according to the website.
Feeling remorseful for his actions, Bieber took to Twitter to tell the world that he's "growing and learning."
"Everyday growing and learning. trying to be better. u get knocked down, u get up," Bieber he tweeted. "Back on tour tomorrow. ready to see u all smile. time to do what im supposed to be doing. performing. #BELIEVEtour."
Bieber was caught smoking weed shortly after breaking up with girlfriend, Selena Gomez. The two reportedly ended things before they could ring in the New Year.
“The two of them flew to Mexico for New Year’s Eve, but had a blow-out argument on December 30 and broke up," a source told The New York Daily News. "Selena left Mexico that same day and Justin left for L.A. on the 31st. They haven’t seen each other since and she was never at the Four Seasons on New Year’s Day."
Perhaps Bieber was smoking weed to relax after a stressful trip to Mexico? Either way, the insider told the Daily News that this probably won't be the last we'll hear of Bieber and Gomez.
“They keep breaking up and getting back together,” the source added. “It's an on-again, off-again relationship. It's probably not correct to characterize this as a final breakup."
Pictures of Bieber smoking grass surfaced just days after a paparazzi was killed while trying to snap photos of Bieber's Ferrari (Bieber was not in the car at the time). Chris Guerra, the photographer, reportedly told a friend shortly before being struck by a car and killed that he saw the pop star driving his car while smoking on a marijuana pipe. Bieber's people denied the report.
Bieber isn't the first celebrity with a relatively clean image to toke up. Olympic record holder and all-around-amazing athlete Michael Phelps was once caught smoking grass. According to The Huffington Post, Phelps was suspended from competition for three months by USA Swimming after a photo of the Olympic champion smoking weed surfaced in 2009.
"This is not a situation where any anti-doping rule was violated, but we decided to send a strong message to Michael because he disappointed so many people, particularly the hundreds of thousands of USA Swimming member kids who look up to him as a role model and a hero," USA swimming said in a statement.
Bieber is unlikely to suffer any consequences, as the rules for musicians are completely different than the rules for athletes. The only repercussion that Bieber faces is the hit to his image.
Recreational marijuana use is now legal in Washington State and Colorado, but recreational marijuana use remains illegal in all other states. Should Bieber be setting a better example for his younger fans by refraining from smoking grass or is the pop star's decision to toke up one that will have little impact on those who listen to his music religiously? Sound off in the comments section.