In a new cover interview for Vogue, Justin Bieber breaks his two-year-long media silence to talk about his struggles he found as a child star with depression, as well as celibacy and religion.
Joined by wife Hailey, the magazine’s story begins with his recent experience participating in the Hoffman Process — a week-long residential and personal growth retreat said to help participants address negative behaviors, moods and ways, according to their official site — which Bieber says he wasn’t quite ready to undergo.
“There were these séances,” Bieber explains. “Or not really séances, but these traditions. They light candles, and it kind of freaked me out. You sit on a mat, you put a pillow down, and you beat your past out of it.”
Then, mentioning his parents, Bieber reveals what he wanted to “beat out.” “I beat the fact that my mom was depressed a lot of my life and my dad has anger issues,” he says. “Stuff that they passed on that I’m kind of mad they gave me.”
Bieber even acknowledges how vulnerable he feels during the interview, not because of Hailey, but because he’s sitting down for an interview for the first time since the 2015 Purpose era. He explains that after what many people called his “apology-tour” of the critically and popularly acclaimed studio record backing a massive 150-concert world tour — he became “depressed.”
“I got really depressed on tour,” Bieber says. “I haven’t talked about this, and I’m still processing so much stuff that I haven’t talked about. I was lonely. I needed some time.”
He then talks about his self-induced celibacy, which he was still undergoing when the couple reconnected in June of 2018. In an effort to “feel closer to God,” as the interviewer notes, Justin chose celibacy in order to fight what he says was a “legitimate problem with sex.”
He believes that it’s thanks to this that Hailey and him ultimately made it back to each other. “He doesn’t ask us not to have sex for him because he wants rules and stuff,” Justin explains in the interview. “He’s like, I’m trying to protect you from hurt and pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don’t feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that.”
He adds, “I wanted to rededicate myself to God in that way because I really felt it was better for the condition of my soul. And I believe that God blessed me with Hailey as a result. There are perks.”
After a trip to the weekly service of Churchome, Judah Smith’s Seattle-based ministry, Justin touches on what his faith means to him. “I wouldn’t consider myself religious,” Bieber tells the interviewer. “That confuses a lot of people because they’re like, Well, you go to church. I believe in the story of Jesus — that’s the simplicity of what I believe.”
“But I don’t believe in all the religious elitism and pretentiousness, like people are better than you because they come to church, like you have to go to church and dress a certain way,” Bieber adds. “I get sensitive when religion comes up because it’s been so hurtful to a lot of people. I don’t want to be thought of as someone who stands for any of the injustice that religion has done and does do.”