A series of missteps in Europe over the past few weeks — from incidents at nightclubs to an expletive-filled exchange with British paparazzi to a cancelled show in Portugal — have sparked speculation about whether the 19-year-old singer might be now showing strain from the gruelling schedule that's helped to produce his worldwide success.
On Thursday, the Stratford, Ont.-born performer posted a statement on his Instagram photo-sharing account slamming what he called "lies in the press" about his health and career as well as interviews with members of his family.
"Saying I'm going to rehab and how my family is disappointed in me. My family is beyond proud, and nothing's been said by them," he wrote in a post accompanied by a black-and-white photo of him greeting a mob of fans.
"I'm 19 with [five] number one albums, 19 and I've seen the whole world, 19 and I've accomplished more than I could've ever dreamed of. I'm 19 and it must be scary to some people to think that this is just the beginning."
In a rant that both refuted allegations made against him and reiterated his work ethic and his personal motto of being confident in oneself, what surprised many is Bieber's final, seemingly arrogant stab at the misfortunes and financial problems of another famous name: former child star Lohan.
"To those comparing me to Lindsay Lohan," Bieber wrote, "look at her 2012 tax statements."
The initial post was subsequently taken down, but reappeared with amendments, including the removal of the Lohan comment.