Selena Gomez Defends Hailey Bieber Against Death Threats and "Hateful Negativity"

After Hailey Bieber informed Selena Gomez that she's been receiving "death threats and such hateful negativity," the singer made herself clear: "This isn't what I stand for."

By Jess Cohen Mar 24, 2023 12:25 PMTags
Watch: Selena Gomez Defends Hailey Bieber Amid Death Threats

Selena Gomez's heart wants the hate against Hailey Bieber to stop.

The "Lose You to Love Me" singer shared a message on her Instagram Story March 24 after learning about the immense criticism the model has been receiving.

"Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity," Selena, who has also followed Hailey on Instagram, wrote. "This isn't what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate or bullying."

"I've always advocated for kindness," she noted, "and really want this all to stop."

Selena's message comes one month after she took to social media to address claims that Hailey and pal Kylie Jenner threw shade at her, calling the speculation "unnecessary" in a Feb. 22 TikTok comment. Since that time, Hailey—who is married to Selena's ex Justin Bieber—has received a flood of negative comments online, which is why Selena is speaking up in her defense.

10 Revelations From Selena Gomez's Documentary

The Grammy nominee and the Rhode Skin founder previously put the feud rumors to rest in late 2022 when they posed for a photo together at the Academy Museum Gala.

Instagram Story

"They were at the same event and were asked to take a photo together," a source close to Selena told E! News in October. "They agreed and decided to clear up the rumors once and for all. They wanted to show that there's really no hate between them and that they are both in a good place. It was a moment and an opportunity to put all of the noise behind them and they took it."

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

Hailey also addressed the criticism she receives about the timeline of her and Justin's relationship in a September interview on Call Her Daddy. (Hailey and Justin tied the knot in Sept. 2018, months after he reunited and later split with Selena.)

"A lot of the hate and the perpetuation comes from like, 'Oh, you stole [Justin],'" she said. "And I guess maybe that just comes from the fact that they wished he had ended up with somebody else. And that's fine. You can wish that all you want but that's just not the case."'

To see a complete timeline of Selena and Hailey's history, keep scrolling.

Jelena Rewind

Though they first met in 2009, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez were first rumored to be dating in 2011 and had an on-and-off relationship for eight years, initially breaking up in 2014.

The "Sorry" singer and Only Murders in the Building actress rekindled their romance for the last time in late 2017, but called it quits for good in early 2018.

"Selena is going in a different direction with her life," a source told E! News at the time. "She's had a lot of self-reflection time and it's been good for her.

Jailey's Origin Story

The daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, Hailey Bieber was just 12 when she met Justin—the somewhat awkward moment when Dad introduced her to the pop star ahead of his 2009 Today show appearance enshrined on film. In the clip, you can see Hailey is clearly uncomfortable as she shakes Justin's hand. A meet-cute for the ages!

Two years later, the pair posed for a photo on the red carpet at the premiere of his biopic Never Say Never...with her father. Yes, that's right: Hailey was totally a Belieber.

First Signs

Friends for years after those initial encounters, Justin and Hailey first sparked romance rumors in December 2014, though Hailey denied that they were an item.

"I've known him since I was so young—since I was like 13—and we've just been good friends over the years," Hailey told E! News at the time. "We have just stayed close and there's nothing more to it than that."

Justin also addressed the speculation, posting a photo with Hailey on Instagram with the caption, "People are crazy. I'm super single and this is my good friend u would know otherwise."

But the pair were photographed together often over the next several years, including PDA-filled snaps from their New Year's trip to the Caribbean in 2016.

"Hailey and Justin have a very tight relationship," a source told E! News. "They both are very close with each other's families and care very deeply about each other."

The L-Word

In February 2016, Justin called Hailey "someone I really love" in an interview with GQ, adding, "We spend a lot of time together."

That same month, Hailey clarified to E! News that they were "not an exclusive couple," explaining, "He's about to go on tour. Relationships at this age are already complicated, but I don't really like to talk about it because it's between me and him."

Wedding Bells

By early 2018, Justin and Selena had played their last encore. Once he reunited with Hailey that June, the two were inseparable and the "Holy" artist got down on one knee during their trip to the Bahamas the following month.

"It was a sudden decision but Justin always knew Hailey and him had a special bond that was incomparable," a source told E! News. "The proposal was a very happy moment and Hailey was taken off guard. Her face was in shock but you could tell they are both so in love."

While it may have appeared rushed, Hailey revealed in a 2020 interview with Ashley Graham that they "had been talking for awhile before we got back together." Hinting at his timeline with Selena, she added, "Contrary to popular belief. He had been single for a while and I had been single and we were kind of just trying to figure life out."

By September, Justin and Hailey were officially Mr. and Mrs. Bieber when they got married in a New York City courthouse, though they would eventually have a wedding ceremony in front of their family and friends in South Carolina to celebrate their first wedding anniversary in 2019.

Hailey Speaks

This past September, Hailey squarely addressed all the rumors and confusion about the timeline of her and Justin's relationship during an interview with Alex Cooper on the Call Her Daddy podcast.

"This is so crazy I've literally never talked about this ever," Hailey said of the claims she dated Justin while he was still romancing Selena. "A lot of the hate and perpetuation comes from like, 'Oh you stole him.' It's about people knowing the truth, because there's a truth."

And that reality is that "not one time" did their relationships ever overlap, according to the model. 

"When him and I ever started, like, hooking up or, like, anything of that sort," Hailey stated, "he was not ever in a relationship ever, at any point. It's not my character to mess with someone's relationship."

She then drove the point home, explaining she had never been with him while he was in a "relationship with anybody," saying simply, "that's the end of it."

"I understand how it looks from the outside and there's a lot of perception there," she said. "But that was a situation where I know for a fact that it was the right thing for them to close that door, they were not in a relationship at that time."

Met Gala Mayhem

In her candid Call Her Daddy interview, Hailey set the record straight about what really went down at the 2021 Met Gala after a video went viral in which she appeared to be crying on the red carpet as people began chanting Selena's name.

While the Internet believed Hailey was emotional because of the yelling, the Rhode founder clarified what actually happened.

"Yes, I could hear everyone screaming," she admitted. "I think there's a certain part of you that has a numbness of just like...I was really surprised."

Though she could "kind of hear it" while posing for photos with Justin, Hailey said it wasn't until she saw a video later that she could understand what they were actually saying.

So, even though it appeared Justin was comforting her because of the chants, Hailey explained, "The whole thing of everybody being like, 'Oh he's trying to tell her not to cry.' That was not true. It wasn't making me cry."

But she did make one thing clear, noting that the chanting was a "very disrespectful thing to do towards anybody."

Behind the Headlines

While Hailey and Selena had never been publicly photographed together or talked about being in contact, Hailey revealed that the two women had spoken after her 2018 wedding and there was "no drama" between them. 

While she didn't share details about her conversation with Selena, Hailey explained that their private talk has helped her deal with all of the rumors about the situation.

"That's why I'm like, it's all respect, it's all love," Hailey said. "That's also why I feel like, well, if everybody on our side knows what happened and we're good and we could walk away from it with clarity and respect, then that's fine."

Selena's Meaningful Message

Following Hailey's headline-making interview about the "vile and disgusting" treatment she had endured online, Selena took to TikTok to stress the importance of being kind. The "Love You Like a Love Song" singer called out the irony of some people choosing to support her Rare Beauty line and Rare Impact Fund only to ignore its message of spreading goodwill. 

"It's not fair because no one should ever be spoken to in the manner that I've seen," Selena said during her live video. "If you support Rare, I cannot thank you enough, but know that you are also representing what it means—and that is: Words matter. Truly matter."


Standing Up

Selena's recent plea isn't the first time she has asked her fans not to attack anyone online. She made a similar request after her breakup song "Lose You to Love Me" was released in 2019.

"I am grateful for the response that the song is getting," Selena said at the time. "I'm so grateful. However, I do not stand for women tearing women down. And I will never, ever be by that. So please be kind to everyone."

She continued, "It doesn't matter what the situation is. If you're my fans, don't be rude to anybody, please. Don't go off and say things that you just feel in the moment."

Team Helena

Eight years after this love triangle was created by the Internet, Selena and Hailey ended any remaining rumblings of a feud when they posed for their first photograph together

Taken by photographer Tyrell Hampton at the 2022 Academy Museum Gala on Oct. 15, the Internet-breaking snaps show the two women sitting close together and smiling

Tyrell posted one of the photos on Instagram, cheekily captioning it "plot twist," with Hailey double-tapping it along with more than 1.2 million people. 

Stop the Hate

After learning that Hailey had been receiving death threats online, Selena penned a March 24 message to haters: "This isn't what I stand for."

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