Justin Bieber has reflected on seven years since he was arrested, saying it was “not my finest hour” and he is “not proud of where I was at in my life”.
The singer, 26, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of drink or drugs, resisting arrest and driving with an invalid licence, after apparently drag racing on a street in Miami, Florida, on January 23 2014.
Prosecutors dropped the charge after the singer made a donation of 50,000 US dollars (about £42,000) to a youth charity as part of a plea deal.
The arrest – along with the notorious mugshot of a 19-year-old Bieber smiling while wearing a prison-issue jumpsuit – seemed to confirm people’s suspicions he had been given too much, too soon.
An online petition calling for the Canadian to be deported from the US attracted more than 100,000 signatures, though the Obama administration declined to make any substantive comment.
Sharing a photograph of himself in handcuffs, he wrote on Instagram: “7 years ago today I got was arrested, not my finest hour.
“Not proud of where I was at in my life. I was hurting, unhappy, confused, angry, mislead, misunderstood and angry at god..
“I also wore too much leather for someone in Miami.
“All this to say God has brought me a long way. From then til now I do realize something.. God was as close to me then as he is right now.
“My encouragement to you is to ‘let your past be a reminder of how far god has brought you’.
“Don’t allow shame to ruin your “today” let the forgiveness of Jesus take over and watch your life blossom into all that God has designed you to be.
“LOVE YOU GUYS WITH MY WHOLE HEART.”
Bieber’s other brushes with the law include allegations of vandalism and assault.
The singer, who is now married to model Hailey Baldwin, has since spoken candidly about his drug use and revealed he feared it would kill him, saying at his lowest point he would wake up and immediately smoke cannabis and swallow pills.
He told how members of his security team would check his pulse throughout the night to make sure he was still breathing after he would binge on ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms.