Bieber racist joke leaked
Usher and Justin Bieber. Picture: Justin Bieber/Instagram

Pop star Justin Bieber has apologised for telling a racist joke when he was 15.

Bieber is at the centre of another scandal after footage showing him making a racist joke was leaked to the press.

In the short video, obtained by a British newspaper, Bieber appears to ask pals "Why are black people afraid of chainsaws?"

Grinning, Bieber then adds, "Run, n....., n....., n....., n....."

Bieber has since apologised for the video, which he had reportedly tried to buy, blaming the comments on his age.

"As a kid, 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 realise at the time that it wasn't funny and that, in fact, my actions were continuing the ignorance," Bieber has told TMZ. "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. I take my friendships with people of all cultures very seriously and I apologise 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."

It is the latest blow to the singer, who counts prominent African-Americans including Usher and rapper Lil Wayne among his celebrity friends, amid a storm of legal troubles.

Bieber, 20, will appear in court next month to face charges of DUI, resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired licence. He is also facing prosecution in Toronto, Canada, where he is accused of involvement in the alleged assault of a limousine driver during a night out in December.

The West Australian

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