JUSTIN BIEBER has apologized for making a "reckless and immature mistake" after old video footage of the troubled pop star telling a racist joke was leaked to the press.
The Baby hitmaker was caught in yet another scandal over the weekend (31May-01Jun14), when a clip obtained by editors at Britain's The Sun on Sunday newspaper was released online.
The footage appears to show a young Bieber asking pals, "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?", before answering, "Run, n**ger, n**ger, n**ger, n**ger, run."
The video is said to have been shot during the production of his 2011 documentary Never Say Never, and Bieber has now come forward to apologize for making the comments when he was 15 years old.
A statement issued by Bieber to TMZ.com reads: "As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was OK to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realize at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance.
"Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologized for those wrongs. Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologize again to all those I have offended."
He continues, "I'm very sorry. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologize for offending or hurting anyone with my childish and inexcusable mistake. I was a kid then and I am a man now who knows my responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again.
"Ignorance has no place in our society and I hope the sharing of my faults can prevent others from making the same mistake in the future. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to say but telling the truth is always what's right."
"Five years ago I made a reckless and immature mistake and I'm grateful to those close to me who helped me learn those lessons as a young man. Once again... I'm sorry."