Justin Bieber has apologised for telling a racist joke.
The Confident hitmaker, 20, admits he made a "childish and inexcusable mistake" by repeatedly using the N-word in a controversial leaked video, captured five years ago.
Bieber appears in the clip joking with friends and uses the 'N word' five times after asking them: "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?"
One friend repeatedly warns the pop star: "Don't even say it. Don't say it," but he laughs and decides to deliver the punch-line, saying: "Run n*****, n*****, n*****, n*****, n****."
A female friend, who cannot be seen, then tells him: "You could say motorcycle too", before making revving engine noises.
After the footage was posted online, he issued a statement to GossipCop.com saying: "As a young man, I didn't understand the power of certain words and how they can hurt. I thought it was okay to repeat hurtful words and jokes, but didn't realise at the time that it wasn't funny and that in fact my actions were continuing the ignorance."
He added: "Thanks to friends and family I learned from my mistakes and grew up and apologised for those wrongs. Now that these mistakes from the past have become public I need to apologise again to all those I have offended. I'm very sorry."
The Canadian star insists he isn't racist and respects all cultures.
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Photo / AP
He continued: "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."
A source previously claimed that Bieber and his management had known about the video for a while and tried to pay for it to be kept out of the public eye.
- BANG! Showbiz