The sad tale of Justin Bieber's monkey, OG Mally
So Mally, what were your first impressions of Justin?
He had lovely hair. The glamour and attention were everything a young capuchin monkey would want. Parties, limos, groupies, famous friends… they were heady times. I look at pictures from back then, and I was so young!
What was a typical evening like for you?
I’d spent concerts locked in the dressing room, waiting for Justin to come off stage and show me to some girls, pointing noncommittally at me and murmuring “I gots a monkey”. Sometimes we’d do Instagram photos, when he would actually touch me, hoisting me up on his shoulders and holding my hand to show me off to his followers. It was magical.
Did it hurt being abandoned at airport security?
It did, but I was a different monkey back then. I remember Justin's face when they told him he couldn't bring me through customs. He just blinked, said "whatever" and walked away. I think he knew a prolonged farewell would be too painful. I spent three weeks in quarantine. Even after I gave up on seeing Justin again, I hoped Harry Styles or someone might come and pick me up, or Lady Gaga would want to use me as a living hat. But nobody ever came.
How did you cope with it?
It was tough, but the celebrity monkey community really rallied round. Marcel from Friends came by one day, and another time the monkey from Ace Ventura popped in and had me in hysterics. And I got a lovely card from the PG Tips family.
And now... you're among friends again?
Yes. Two years ago the German government found me a home in a nature reserve. I'm around other white-headed capuchins for the first time in my life, which has been surreal. To be honest, they all look alike to me.
That’s a bit racist, we think, but we’ll let it slide…
It took a while for the other monkeys to accept me. They’d sing "Baby" constantly and ask me for Selena Gomez's number. But I pitched in, scratching the ground with sticks and flinging my poo at tourists, and now I'm just like one of them. I still think about that beautiful week or so when Justin loved me and I was Twitter’s favourite monkey. Justin might pop by one day. Part of me knows it will never happen, but I guess at heart I'll always be a belieber.
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