Justin Bieber's mother: He needs to make his own decisions

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Singer Justin Bieber (R) and mother Pattie Malette attend the 40th American Music Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) Jason Merritt

Justin Bieber's public behavior lately has led some celeb watchers to say he's flirting with a meltdown, a la Britney Spears circa 2007. From scuffles with both the paparazzi and his neighbors, to shirtless airport-strolling, the 19-year-old pop star has people scratching their heads and waiting for his next headline-making move.

Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, though, doesn't seem overly worried about her son's antics, telling "Access Hollywood," "Him being 19, you know, I've just gotta let go a little and let him make some of his own decisions...He's growing up. He's 19. He's not my baby. I want to be able to take away free will sometimes and be able to do everything for him."

She also chimed in on Bieber's ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, calling her a "sweetheart," saying, "I'll always love and respect her. Whatever Justin chooses -- obviously, it's his life."

Bieber, meanwhile, opened up about his latest shenanigans this week during an interview with Us Weekly, saying, "The biggest misconception about me is that I'm a bad person. I get upset about that. I have a big heart. I want to be a good role model, but some people want me to fail." He added, "I'm young and I want to have fun. I don't think there is anything wrong with that."

And as for that gas mask the Biebs was spotted wearing recently? It was a complete joke with his friends, he says. "I wanted to hide my face from all the cameras. They got it as a joke. My friends and I like messing around."

Bieber's 47-year-old neighbor wasn't messing around, though, when he went to police on battery charges against the singer.

The Canadian YouTube sensation has been on tour for a good part of this year and isn't slowing down any time soon. He has dates lined up from now through August.

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