Justin Bieber has issued an apology for having used the n-word in a leaked video from five years ago.

In a statement to TMZ, the pop star says he's "very sorry" for saying the racial slur in a joke caught on camera when he was 15 years old, calling it a "childish and inexcusable mistake."  Justin, now 20, explains that "as a young man, [he] didn't understand the power of certain words" and sees now that "[his] actions were continuing the ignorance."  


Taking blame for his words, Justin says that "[he] was a kid then" but is now "a man now who knows [his] responsibility to the world and to not make that mistake again."  He adds that he hopes "the sharing of [his] faults" will prevent others from acting as he did.

 The video was published by U.K. tabloid "The Sun" on Saturday, and was supposedly shot as a part of Justin's 2011 documentary "Never Say Never."  In it, he's seen asking "Why are black people afraid of chain saws?" -- following it up with a punch line repeating the n-word five times.