From primates to paternity suits, Justin Bieber has generated a fair deal of controversy as he travels the globe on his wildly successful Believe Tour, currently on a five-week hiatus before resuming again in California. When not busy invoking the tears of tween girls, the 19-year-old Canadian pop sensation has gotten into several sticky situations that have been a boon for celebrity journalists and tabloids around the world. This week’s map shows his progress on tour, with a special look at the places where he’s gotten into a bit of trouble. We’ve measured the relative infamy he’s experienced in different countries using the gold standard unit of scandal – the total number of Google search results related to each incident.
Over the course of this tour, Bieber and his entourage have demonstrated some lapses in judgment, such as travelling with certain contraband items. In Sweden, police officers allegedly found drugs on his tour bus after one of them caught a whiff of marijuana while performing crowd control. Instead of controlled substances, it was a controlled species that got him in trouble while crossing the border into Germany – Mally, Bieber’s young capuchin monkey, was taken into quarantine after he tried to bring it into the country without the appropriate papers. (Mally now lives in a monkey sanctuary that is now billing Bieber’s management for the care.) Elsewhere in Europe, Justin’s tour of the Amsterdam house of young Holocaust victim Anne Frank turned into his biggest faux pas of the year (so far) when he speculated that if she were alive today, she would be a “belieber”.
Bieber’s conception of “appropriate” versus “inappropriate” behaviour has gotten him in hot water in a few more locales. When accepting a Queen’s Jubilee Medal from Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Bieber nonchalantly received the award in ratty overalls and a baseball cap – despite regularly changing costumes six times in one performance, he couldn’t manage to put a shirt and tie on after breakfast. This minor lapse in judgement didn’t cost him as much as his May tour date in Muscat, Oman, which was cancelled out of concern for women subject to seeing his provocative dance moves. Elsewhere in the Middle East, a Dubai concertgoer leapt on stage and tackled Justin, knocking over a piano before being escorted out by security. This may or may not have had something to do with him starting his set over two hours late.
In several other places, people have wanted damages from Justin. In Vienna, his bodyguards seized and smashed fans’ smartphones and cameras after taking photos and video of him at a nightclub that he was subsequently banned from. Stateside, however, someone demanded compensation of a different sort: for the second time, Bieber faced a paternity suit, this time from a Miami woman who claimed he inseminated her after they met at a (undoubtedly very posh) TGI Friday’s. Looking at the map of North America, however, Bieber has been relatively well-behaved in his home continent considering how many shows he’s already played this year. That said, the year is young.