Selena Gomez defends Hailey Bieber, who has received death threats: ‘No one should have to experience hate’
The alleged feud between the two artists has been in the media spotlight since the model married Justin Bieber in 2018, just six months after the breakup with the singer and actress, and has festered in the last month
The drama between the most mediatic and controversial love trio of the last decade never seems to come to an end. The exchange of insults between fans of Selena Gomez (Grand Prairie, Texas, 30 years old) and Hailey Bieber (Tucson, Arizona, 26 years old) has been going on and on for weeks now. The alleged rivalry between the artist and the model, as a result of their relationship with Canadian singer Justin Bieber, has been making headlines for five years. It seemed that the waters had calmed down after the posing of the two last October, hugging and smiling, in which they showed their complicity and that quickly went viral, which tried to quell rumors of a confrontation between them.
Fans of Gomez and Bieber have been particularly out of control in the recent weeks, after a new alleged feud between Gomez, Bieber and the businesswoman and influencer Kylie Jenner took over social media. Now Gomez has come out to defend her ex-partner’s wife publicly, asking her followers to stop the death threats Bieber is reportedly receiving. “Hailey Bieber reached out to me and let me know that she has been receiving death threats and such hateful negativity,” Gomez posted on her Instagram account, where she accumulates more than 400 million followers.
Since the Biebers walked down the aisle in 2018 — after the Canadian singer broke up with Gomez six months earlier — followers of the three stars have been analyzing their every move. Two obvious sides have emerged from the drama: team Selena and team Bieber. What at the beginning simply seemed like insistent comments on social media has crossed the virtual barrier and is now impacting their life lives. “This isn’t what I stand for. No one should have to experience hate or bullying,” Selena Gomez said, adding, “I’ve always advocated for kindness and really want this all to stop.”
The chronological order of how the events unfolded varies depending on which side you ask. The reality is that Gomez and Bieber maintained an on-and-off relationship from 2011 to 2018. A few months after their definitive breakup, the Canadian began to date Hailey, also with comings and goings. Be that as it may, the old-fashioned and sexist story of a woman stealing another woman’s man has been repeated for the past five years. The idea that two women will fight over a woman has been recurring discourse in this, even though both women have denied that it is their case.
In this latest chapter of the soap opera, followers on social media have once again confronted the two women over images that, according to Kylie Jenner, were not intended as an attack, but were interpreted as such. It all started when, in February, Gomez posted a video on her profile commenting on the state of her eyebrows. A few hours later, Kylie Jenner uploaded an image in which she wrote: “This was an accident,” referring to her own eyebrows. Later, she posted a screenshot of a video call with Bieber in which the protagonists were the eyebrows of both. Many of their followers took this almost anecdotal succession of publications as Jenner and Bieber mocking Gomez.
Because of that, social media — especially TikTok — has been filled with videos and theories that revolve around Bieber’s wife copying Gomez. Fans of the singer then went on to unfollow Kylie Jenner and Bieber en masse. Thanks to this back and forth of followers, Gomez once again became (as had already happened in 2016) the most followed woman on Instagram, reaching 400 million.
Another side of the controversy is related to Taylor Swift, one of Gomez’s best friends. In some old images recovered — again, especially on TikTok — Bieber is seen on a TV show making a strange gesture, a feint of vomiting, when the singer’s name sounds. Selena Gomez quickly replied via TikTok, saying that Swift was still “the best in the game” and that no one could beat her. The alleged feud between Gomez and Bieber, chapter after chapter, is enough to write a book (which I’m sure someone will do).
Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition