Rob Lowe Reveals Justin Bieber's "Dark Secret": His Fans Don't "Give a S--t" About His Music

Actor tells Oprah Winfrey why it's not easy being a teen idol

By Zach Johnson Apr 07, 2014 3:09 PMTags

Rob Lowe was a bit of a bad boy during his early years in Hollywood.

The '80s teen idol was, after all, a member of the Brat Pack. And prior to marrying makeup artist Sheryl Berkoff in 1991 (they now have two sons), Lowe was known as the first celebrity sex tape star. Sober since 1990, the actor has successfully revamped his life and his career. So how'd he manage to do it?

Rehab. "I loved it," Lowe revealed on Sunday's episode of Oprah Prime. "I don't know what that says about me. I didn't love the fact that I had to go and it was absolutely painful, but I liked the science. I couldn't have gotten sober without rehab because I needed the science. I needed to [learn about] addiction and what it does to your body and all of the research and the things like that."

The former Parks and Recreation star continued, "A lot of people can do it through 12-step programs alone—I wouldn't have been one of them, although I believe in them. I needed to do the work."

Unlike many celebrities who've weighed in on Justin Bieber's recent troubles, Lowe has a little more insight into the pressures of being a young star. "I have tremendous empathy," Lowe said of Bieber.

"He makes really good music, he does, but I think he knows the dark secret, and the dark secret is 80 percent of his audience doesn't give a s--t about the music. And he knows it. It bums him out," the Love Life author said of the 20-year-old "Baby" singer. "They care about lemming-think, and their girlfriends and who's oohing and aahing and screaming. It has nothing to do with what he's doing as an artist. He is the guy who is standing in front at a moment that they're going through a developmental thing. It's natural, it's all great, but if it wasn't him, it would be somebody else, like it was me."