Justin’s mom, Pattie Mallette, opens up about some of the difficult decisions she was forced to make as a teenage girl with TODAY‘s Kathie Lee Gifford.
Prior to becoming pregnant, Pattie suffered sexual abuse, a subject she discusses in her new book, “Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber’s Mom.”
Of that abuse and the suicide attempt, Pattie told Gifford:
“I’ve learned it’s normal and natural for anybody who’s been through sexual abuse to carry that shame and that blame and feel like there’s something wrong with you. So I definitely carried that.”
“The suicide attempt was a culmination of, you know, built up over the years with the abuse and the pain and at the time I was messed up with all the drugs and alcohol. I was in a depression and the drugs and alcohol kind of spurred that on some more.”
By the age of 17, Pattie became pregnant with Justin, and at the time, she was encouraged to abort the baby. Of course, she said that was an option she couldn’t consider. She said:
“I just knew I couldn’t. I just knew I couldn’t. I just know I had to keep him. And, do the best. I didn’t know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that I couldn’t — I couldn’t abort. I had to do my best. I had to see what I could do. And I was determined to do whatever it took.”
Pattie went on to say that the first time she heard her son cry, it was literally music to her ears.
“I know this sounds crazy, but he sounded like he was singing. He did. It was like this, like, ‘A hah, a hah.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, it is so precious and amazing. I just want to squeeze him.’ “
Gifford’s full interview with Mallette airs Sept. 18 and 19 on TODAY show.