For his first extended interview in years, Justin Bieber is opening the vault.
In a wide-ranging Vogue cover chat alongside Hailey Baldwin (the two were married back in September), Bieber goes deep on the abrupt end of his wildly successful, Purpose-promoting global tour and details his lengthy period of self-imposed celibacy.
The move toward celibacy, which Bieber was "more than a year into" when he reconnected with Baldwin in June 2018, was inspired by what he characterizes as a "legitimate" sex problem. Entering a period of outright celibacy, for Bieber, was a way to strengthen his relationship with the higher power of his choice.
"[God's] like, I'm trying to protect you from hurt and pain," Bieber, who explained the move wasn't about "rules and stuff," said. "I think sex can cause a lot of pain. Sometimes people have sex because they don't feel good enough. Because they lack self-worth. Women do that, and guys do that. 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." Religion itself, however, isn't exactly what Bieber is about. He makes it clear in the interview that he isn't "someone who stands for any of the injustice that religion has done and does do."
Bieber also spoke candidly on his abuse of Xanax, a problem he attributes to shame. "I found myself doing things that I was so ashamed of, being super-promiscuous and stuff, and I think I used Xanax because I was so ashamed," he said. By Bieber's retrospective assessment, he was in a dark place. "I think there were times when my security was coming in late at night to check my pulse and see if I was still breathing," he said. Nowadays, Bieber said, he sticks to social drinking.
Speaking on the cancelation of the final 14 Purpose Tour dates in 2017, Bieber—who notably received some wise words of support from John Mayer at the time—simply needed to hit the pause button, saying that even "thinking about music" stresses him out.
Read the full piece from Rob Haskell—which also includes more insight on Bieber and Baldwin's relationship, as well as Bieber's thoughts on being reverse-manufactured—via Vogue by clicking right here. The iconic Annie Leibovitz handled the photography.