Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber's mom tells why she chose not to abort at 17

Sep. 14, 2012 at 2:32 PM ET

In an incredibly frank interview with TODAY's Kathie Lee Gifford, Justin Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, opens up about some of the difficult circumstances and decisions she was forced to make as a teenage girl.

Prior to becoming pregnant, Mallette suffered sexual abuse, a subject she discusses in her new book, "Nowhere But Up: The Story of Justin Bieber's Mom." Of that abuse, Mallette told Gifford, "I've learned it's normal and natural for anybody who's been through sexual abuse to carry that shame and that blame and feel like there's something wrong with you. So I definitely carried that."

The shame was so much Mallette attempted to kill herself. She told Gifford that the suicide attempt was "a culmination of, you know, built up over the years with the abuse and the pain and at the time I was messed up with all the drugs and alcohol. I was in a depression and the drugs and alcohol kind of spurred that on some more."

By the age of 17, Mallette became pregnant with Justin, and at the time, she was encouraged to abort the baby. Of course, Mallette said that was an option she couldn't consider. "I just knew I couldn't. I just knew I couldn't. I just know I had to keep him," she told Gifford. "And, do the best. I -- you know, I didn't know how I was going to do it. But I just knew that I couldn't -- I couldn't abort. I had to do my best. I had to see what I could do. And I was determined to do whatever it took."

Lisa Rose / NBC /
Justin Bieber and his mom Pattie Mallette.

Mallette went on to say that the first time she heard her son cry, it was literally music to her ears. "I know this sounds crazy, but he sounded like he was singing. He did," she said. "It was like this, like, 'A hah, a hah.' And I was like, 'Oh my gosh, it is so precious and amazing. I just want to squeeze him.' "

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